Sheriff candidate denies criminal wrongdoing
A Jackson County sheriff's candidate who is the subject of a criminal investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice said he's being accused of using a Sheriff's Department employee roster to solicit campaign funds.
Lt. Bob Sergi, night supervisor at the Jackson County Jail, denied the accusation in a public statement emailed to the Mail Tribune Thursday afternoon. He said he used a campaign database containing the addresses of all registered voters in Oregon.
"This is public information. I did nothing unethical or illegal," Sergi's statement reads. "This is a standard practice for competent campaigns. In fact, I know at least one of my opponents uses a similar voter database. Because I did nothing wrong, I'm not worried about the outcome of the investigation."
Sergi, 57, of Central Point, was placed on administrative leave April 1. He is one of two candidates challenging Sheriff Mike Winters for the nonpartisan position, a post that's been held by Winters since 2002. Ashland Police Deputy Chief Corey Falls also is vying for the spot in the May 20 primary.
Oregon DOJ spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson declined comment Thursday, saying the criminal investigation against Sergi has not concluded. She said earlier the investigation began at the request of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department.
Sergi could not be reached for additional comment.