Deschutes County

Former Deschutes sheriff Stiles new Prineville interim chief

Will help assess department needs in wake of Eric Bush firing

Les Stiles interim Prineville chief

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Former Deschutes County Sheriff Les Stiles was sworn in Monday as Prineville's interim police chief, in the wake of Eric Bush's dismissal and his subsequent lawsuit against the city alleging wrongful termination.

In a news release, the city said Stiles, who served as sheriff from 2001 to 2007, "was appointed to the position to fulfill a number of needs for the city of Prineville and the police department."

"He will serve for an indefinite period with the specific focus of performing the duties and responsibilities of the police chief while at the same time, conducting an objective review of department operations, policies and procedures and 'best practice' standards," the statement continued.

Stiles retired as sheriff in 2007 and later formed the company Legacy Leadership, LLC. One of the projects he worked on during that time was conducting "best practice" reviews of many police departments, sheriff offices and 911 centers in the state, on behalf of City/County Insurance Services.

Stiles also has served as an adjunct faculty member of the Concordia University School of Management MBA program for five years and taught courses in ethical leadership and organizational behavior.

Stiles more recently served as a part-time investigator for Deschutes County DA Patrick Flaherty in 2011.

Bush was fired after about nine months on paid administrative leave at the conclusion of an outside investigation that concluded he misused city "flex time" in his dual role with the city and as a brigadier general in the Oregon Army National Guard, as well as falsified records, misuse of city equipment and poor leadership.

Bush strongly denied all of the claims and immediately filed a $2.5 million lawsuit against the city.

Prineville's statement Monday said one of Stiles' "assignments will be an assessment of the Prineville Police Department present and predicted future needs to help develop a profile for the hiring of a permanent police chief to serve the department and the city in the future. He will also assist in the recruitment of the next police chief."

Stile succeeds the previous interim chief, Capt. Mike Boyd, who returns to that role.

Stiles told NewsChannel 21 on Monday he was asked by the city to step into the temporary post. He said he's excited to take on the challenge and that an outside perspective is crucial to help the agency move forward.

That includes, he said, a "bottoms-up assessment of the police agency itself everything from budgeting to staffing to policies, procedures -- I mean, the whole thing -- internal culture, external culture."

Stiles stressed that he won't apply for the permanent post and he expects to serve in the interim post for six to 18 months.

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