Clackamas County Chair to Sheriff: ‘Where’s Your Money Going?’

Update: Sheriff Roberts has responded to Chair Bernard’s Feb. 7 letter. You can read that here.

Clackamas County Board of Commissioners Chair Jim Bernard on Saturday called Sheriff Craig Roberts to task on his own department’s spending.

The post on Bernard’s political Facebook page was in reference to Sheriff Roberts’ op-ed and letter this week questioning why the county is facing a significant budget gap in the midst of a booming economy and unprecedented population growth — to which Bernard had already responded in kind.

But Saturday’s post was more direct.

“I have always been a supporter of the Sheriff, even when he refused any input on how he spends his money,” Bernard said. “Because the fact is, once we give it to him, it’s gone. He gets 50 percent of our general fund; there are three contract cities that pay him for service and an enhanced law enforcement district. Where’s your money going?”

While saying he is proud of the more than 600 men and women who work for the CCSO, Chair Bernard challenged the sheriff about some of the less laudable aspects of his tenure.

“When we get sued because he fails to manage his people and someone has to whistle blow, and he retaliates against him, we get sued,” Bernard alleged. “Children in an abusive family were at risk!”

Bernard also questioned Roberts’ own allocation of public funds and resources, including his claim that the sheriff “refused to work” with an outside auditing firm.

“Sheriff, I challenge you to a forensic audit of your books,” Bernard said. “Maybe it’s time to shut down your movie studio, consolidate your buildings, and spend your money where it should be spent. Boots on the ground!!!”

Want to support free, useful, locally produced journalism like this? Then consider joining our monthly membership program, Canby Now Plus, for as little as $1 a month! You’ll help us sustain and expand our work, plus you can get access to exclusive content, cool merchandise and other goodies. Thanks!