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Union Defends Jobs of Deputy District Attorneys
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The American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees is attempting to block a Polk County, Oregon District Attorney from sacking five deputy district attorneys.

District Attorney-elect Stan Butterfield notified the office’s five deputy district attorneys that he would be interviewing and hiring new attorneys once taking office.
In a letter to the current staff, Butterfield wrote:

“This letter shall serve as formal notification to you that upon my taking office as District Attorney for Polk County, your current appointment as deputy district attorney will expire. If you wish to be considered for subsequent appointment by me, please contact my secretary…

The AFSCME insists that Butterfield is overstepping his authority. AFSCME Local 173’s Don Loving:


“The union that represents Polk County employees … will vigorously oppose any effort by Polk County District Attorney-elect Stan Butterfield to replace any of the current five deputy district attorneys.”

Butterfield insists that the deputy DAs are “at will” employees; the union replies that’s a misunderstanding of Oregon labor law.

“These are employees represented by a legal and binding collective bargaining agreement. Mr. Butterfield’s election comes with no magic wand that eliminates that agreement. Moreover, this exact same type of case has been litigated several times all the way to the Oregon Supreme Court, and the courts have been clear in siding with the represented employees.”

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Loving said a union attorney has sent Butterfield a letter outlining the legal history of similar cases.

In Oregon, elected district attorneys have the leeway to appoint replacement deputies in the event of a resignation or to terminate with reasonable cause. But the district attorney is not authorized to make a carte blanche change.

Via The Statesman-Journal.


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