Josephine County Commissioners react to Hare DUII charge

Grants Pass, Ore. — Josephine County Commissioner Keith Heck is speaking out about Commissioner Simon Hare’s DUII charge.

Tuesday morning Heck and Commissioner Cherryl Walker approved recommendations from the county’s office of legal council placing restrictions on Hare to protect the county from lawsuits or liability.

“It’s a sad situation and it’s a disappointing situation for everybody especially for commissioner Hare,” Heck said.

Heck said hare was in Eugene this weekend on county business when he was arrested. According to Heck, Hare was driving his personal vehicle and was not engaged in official business when the incident took place.

“He was there talking with some of the Oregon and California counties and that was a Thursday and Friday meeting,” Heck said. “He was at the Thursday meeting, but he did not make the Friday meeting.”

According to the Eugene Police Department Hare pulled out in front of an officer nearly causing an accident just after 11:00 Thursday night. He was arrested for DUII and reckless driving. The Grants Pass Daily Courier reports Hare was leaving a strip club at the time.

“It’s extremely disappointing,” Heck said.

Heck said Hare was not at the Board of Commissioner’s meeting Tuesday morning when they approved the restrictions. First, county personnel are not to provide vehicles to commissioner Hare. Second, Hare needs a driver when he’s traveling on business even if it’s in his personal vehicle. Third, the Board of Commissioners has the sole authority to approve mileage reimbursement claims submitted by Hare.

Hare wrote in a statement that he’s seeking outpatient treatment for alcohol and the incident does not impact his ability to perform his duties as a commissioner or his commitment to the community. He also asked for privacy.

Heck wouldn’t say if he stands behind Hare, only that it’s up to voters to decide if they want him recalled. They would need to submit 6,000 signatures by December 29th. According to Heck the county clerk has already received calls about a possible recall, but no committee has been formed.

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