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Clackamas elected official arrested for commercial sexual solicitation can remain in office even if convicted

In light of the arrest of Clackamas Community College board member Dave Hunt for commercial sexual solicitation, CCC President Tim Dave HuntCook emailed students on May 7 to inform them that board members can't be terminated by the college.

Hunt could still be removed through the state recall process that would require signatures of 3% of CCC district voters before setting the date for a special election.

As first reported by Pamplin Media Group, the resident of the unincorporated Gladstone area was picked up in April during an undercover sting conducted by the Portland Police Bureau. A former Oregon House Speaker and current CCC board member, Hunt was among eight men cited in an operation where officers posted online decoy ads on known human trafficking websites, and people who according to the bureau "contacted undercover police officers to arrange payment for sexual acts" were criminally cited.

As reported by the Clackamas Print, Cook informed students that there's no mechanism for removing Hunt from office, even if he's convicted on the charges.

"Board members are elected officials and there are no existing policies on board member termination," Cook wrote. "The board may ask for a member to resign, but the member has the right to choose."

In an email to the Clackamas Print, Dave Hunt's attorney Michael P. De Muniz wrote, "There seems to be confusion about whether this charge involved a minor. This charge does not involve an allegation relating to a minor. The state prosecutes defendants alleged to be involved with a minor using more serious laws, such as ORS 167.057 (Luring a minor) and ORS 163.433 (Online sexual corruption of a child in the first degree). The allegation here is that Mr. Hunt offered or agreed to pay a fee to engage in sexual contact with an adult."

De Muniz said Hunt's arraignment at Multnomah County Courthouse is scheduled for May 27, when there will be a formal charging document and another court date set to either resolve the case with a guilty plea or schedule the case for a trial.

As previously reported, Clackamas County Board Chair Tootie Smith earlier this month asked Clackamas commissioners to issue a statement condemning Hunt's actions and call on him to resign his position as CCC board member. Hunt, through his attorney, has denied the allegations and is refraining from making public statements until the process plays out in court. Hunt has stepped back from his duties as a college board member, but has not officially resigned.

County Commissioner Sonya Fischer said that she believes if Hunt is found guilty that he should resign his post as a CCC board member, but short of a guilty verdict, the Board of County Commissioners shouldn't make its judgement about Hunt remaining in elected office. County Commissioner Martha Schrader said Smith was proposing a "slippery slope" in condemning someone in the court of public opinion before legal due process is served.

The board did not come to a consensus over whether to make a formal statement regarding Hunt's arrest, and the topic did not come back up for discussion.

Hunt is running unopposed for another four-year term in the May 18 special election. After the news of Hunt's arrest, David W. Kays announced his run as a write-in candidate against Hunt.


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