Chair Tootie Smith called for the sudden evacuation of a routine Clackamas County commissioners' business meeting on Thursday, Dec. 2.
Oregon City police said that what Smith announced as an evacuation actually became a lockout, with the county buildings locked from the outside just as a precaution. Police said no crimes were committed and it was determined to be safe to reopen the county buildings at 2:30 p.m.
Smith's message to evacuate came just after 11 a.m., roughly an hour into the Thursday morning meeting. The meeting was scheduled to run until noon on Dec. 2, and Concord Partnership Board Member Ron Campbell had just run out of his allotted three minutes of time to address the commissioners when Smith called for the meeting's adjournment.
"I believe at this point we are going to adjourn this meeting and I suggest everybody evacuate this room right now," Smith said, before the live feed cut out.
County Spokesperson Kimberly Dinwiddie said a "threat" closed two offices at Clackamas County's Red Soils campus in Oregon City "out of an abundance of caution. Law enforcement has been notified."
OCPD Sgt. Joseph Pagano said that a county resident had made a "comment borne out of frustration" to a county staff member over the phone.
"An individual called in and made some concerning statements," Pagano said. "The statements were very veiled, and no specific threats were made."
At the request of OCPD, a county deputy visited the home of the caller who lives outside of Oregon City. That deputy determined that the caller "was upset about something" but was not a danger.
"We also did a search of the county property and determined that there was no credible threat," Pagano said.
The buildings affected were Clackamas County Public Services, 2051 Kaen Road, and Developmental Building Services, 150 Beavercreek Road.
Campbell had just testified to the county commission about funding issues for the proposed new Oak Lodge Library building when Smith adjourned the meeting. County commissioners were still scheduled to hear updates from the county administrator and share their own communications, but the meeting abruptly ended before they were able to proceed to these agenda items.
Raymond Rendleman, editor of the Oregon City News, contributed to this news report.
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