Sheriff's candidate faces DOJ investigation

Jackson County sheriff's candidate Bob Sergi is being investigated for an alleged elections law violation in his bid to unseat his boss, Sheriff Mike Winters.

Sergi was placed on administrative leave Tuesday from his job as a lieutenant and night supervisor at the Jackson County Jail when he was informed of the investigation by the state Department of Justice.

Sergi declined to reveal details of the complaint, other than "it's an election thing" and that the complaint originated from within the sheriff's department.

"It's an ongoing investigation," Sergi said this morning. "Myself and my committee are cooperating with the Department of Justice and it should be resolved quickly."

Sergi said he was informed of the investigation and the administrative leave by sheriff's Capt. Terry Larson.

Sergi said he has yet to be interviewed about the complaint.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Andrea Carlson confirmed Sergi's administrative leave pending the Department of Justice's investigation but declined further comment.

Sergi, a 57-year-old Central Point-area resident who works part time in real estate, has worked at the sheriff's department since 2010 after a stint at the Medford Police Department. He was once the jail commander but was most recently a night supervisor when he was placed on leave.

In his campaign for sheriff, Sergi has criticized Winters for spending too much time, money and effort in emergency management rather than in law enforcement.

Winters is running for re-election to the post he has held the past 12 years. Winters did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

Corey Falls, deputy chief at the Ashland Police Department, is the third candidate in the May 20 primary election.

— Mark Freeman

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