10/13/22, 1:58 PM
Last week Ranch Matters (RM) learned that the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office is seriously short staffed.
They have no Deputy District Attorneys (DDA’s) currently on staff to assist District Attorney (DA) Steven Leriche and Chief Deputy Brent Foster. Leriche and Foster alone are handling all of the cases in the county.
According to DA Leriche, they’re three DDA’s down and it has been that way for some time. He added, no one has applied.
Over worked persecutors most likely are forced to make tough prosecutorial decisions every day that ultimately impacts how justice is delivered. Jefferson County District Attorney Policies state their primary goal is “To protect the public, by delivering justice.”
Their Policies further state: “To maintain ordered liberty for a free society, it is essential that society have confidence in its laws to produce justice for aggrieved persons- crime victims.
Inefficiency and excessive delays in our system erodes confidence that our system can produce justice.
It is a legal maxim that justice delayed is justice denied. Deputy District Attorneys have a duty to ensure that society, and specifically victims, receive justice in a timely fashion.”
We spoke with Jefferson County Commission Chair Wayne Fording about this matter. He confirmed the Commissioners are aware of the staffing problems at the DA’s Office and further confirmed there are three open slots with zero applicants. He explained the state pays the DA’s salary and the county pays for all of the employees that work for the DA, including the DDA’s.
RM emailed Leriche regarding the 3 open positions, how/where the positions are posted and whether the Oregon Department of Justice can help. We ended our email: “Seems like the delivery of justice is in trouble without our DA’s Office properly staffed.”
DA Leriche responded: “John, Over the course of 24 years in the office there has been many times when I had to keep the office running with a depleted staff. Yes, we have job postings in several locations.