Skip to Content

County Campaign Policy Questioned

The chief deputy at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office won’t be in the office this week.

The sheriff has put him on administrative leave after declaring his intention to run against him for office.

The county policy specifically outlines that’s what is to be done if there is a “reasonable prediction of disruption in the office.”

For the past 26 years, Jefferson County Sheriff Blair Olsen and Chief Deputy Jeff Poole have worked together to protect the people of Jefferson County.

But that working relationship was all put on hold Tuesday morning.

?He stated if I chose not to resign by the ninth of March, I was terminated,” Poole said. “Here I am unemployed for the first time in my life. I’ve got to go out and find employment to make my house payments, to find health insurance for my family. I don’t believe just because I run for office I should be fired.”

Although Olsen could not comment because it is a personnel issue, he pointed to the county’s policy which states, “If an employee initiates candidacy against an incumbent elected official for whom he/she is a subordinate and there is a reasonable prediction of disruption in that official’s office, the employee must immediately resign or face possible termination.”

“The elected or appointed officials are expected to follow the lead the county commissioners have adopted to run the county in the most efficient manner,? county attorney Robin Dunn said. ?So in any given case it’s not supposed to be about an individual but equal treatment to all employees of Jefferson County.”

This will be Olsen’s sixth time running for office. He has only been opposed twice, but never by someone working under his authority.

Poole is still a good friend of Olsen. Poole said he just wants to give voters another choice.

“I have respected his authority, I always worked well with him, I thought,? Poole said. “I’m not going to say we have always agreed on everything, because that just doesn’t happen, but we have always worked through things.”

This is not a rare policy; in fact, Dunn said most Idaho counties have adopted the same policy.

Anyone running for office must file for candidacy between Feb. 27 and March 9, after which Olsen said he would be open to answering questions from the media.

Primary elections are May 15.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Team


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content