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Oregon DOJ opens criminal investigation of Sunriver police chief

Deschutes DA will decide whether to bring charges

DOJ opens criminal investigation on...

SUNRIVER, Ore. - (Update: DA Hummel issues statement)

The Oregon Department of Justice confirmed to NewsChannel 21 on Thursday it has opened an investigation into Sunriver Police Chief Marc Mills, though details were not being released.

Mills was put on paid administrative leave on Sunday by the Sunriver Service District pending an investigation. 

DOJ spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson told NewsChannel 21 the department has opened a criminal investigation into Mills. 

The agency is working with the Deschutes County District Attorney's Office, Edmunson said, but she would not comment on the investigations or the allegations. 

Hummel later issued this statement: “Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is heading the fact-gathering phase of the investigation into the allegation against Sunriver Police Chief Marc Mills.

"Once she completes her work, she will provide me with the facts as determined by her investigation and I will decide whether to initiate criminal charges. I will comment further when the attorney general completes her investigation.” 

Meanwhile, after NewsChannel 21 filed a public records request with the Sunriver Service District, they released a email sent out by Sunriver police Acting Sgt. Michael Womer to the department's staff on Sunday. 

The email states Mills was placed on paid administrative leave for an indefinite period of time and was advised not to go to the police department. 

Womer wrote, "While some of you are aware of details, you are being directed not to participate in speculation or gossip regarding this situation. There will be more information in the coming days."

He went on to say, "This situation does not change our responsibility to the community."

An anonymous source told NewsChannel 21 the allegations don't involve any theft or falsehoods but involve more of a disciplinary issue regarding Mills' performance within the department. 

Mills, 61, became Sunriver's police chief in February 2012 after more than 38 years with the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, rising to the rank of captain.

Bend Police Chief Jim Porter said Tuesday he agreed to assist Sunriver by temporarily assigning Capt. Cory Darling to fill the position of interim police chief.

He said Darling is a 27-year veteran of the Bend police force who has served as a patrol team supervisor, drugs investigator and SWAT team member and leader, also having served as commander of the patrol and support services divisions.

The Sunriver police chief's annual salary is $105,800.


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