Tyler Smith

Tyler Smith

The Grant County deputy arrested last week on attempted rape and other charges was already on administrative leave for an unrelated issue.

Oregon State Police arrested Tyler Smith, 33, of John Day on charges of attempted rape, fourth-degree assault and child neglect Sept. 9, but Grant County Human Resources Manager Laurie Wright said that was not related to the deputy being placed on administrative leave Aug. 9.

Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter said in a statement Sept. 12 Smith had been placed on leave “for issues related to the performance of his duties as a sheriff’s deputy.”

A public indictment has not been filed against Smith as of Monday afternoon, but his spouse alleged she and their children were the victims of the charges in a Sept. 10 motion for temporary custody of the children in ongoing divorce proceedings.

Smith’s “behavior has become very erratic,” she said in a declaration accompanying the motion. “… I am in fear of my personal safety and the safety of my children.”

Emergency custody

In the declaration, Smith’s spouse said she was the alleged victim for the attempted rape and fourth-degree assault charges and that the couple’s two youngest children were the alleged victims for four counts of child neglect.

“Although there is a status quo order in place giving me exclusive use of the home, (Tyler Smith) routinely ignores that order and enters the home at will,” Smith’s spouse said. “Because I am afraid of (Tyler Smith), I do not attempt to force him out of the home.”

Grant County Circuit Court Judge William D. Cramer Jr. signed an order Sept. 10 granting emergency custody of the children solely to the spouse, suspending Smith’s parenting time until a further order of the court.

The timeline

Smith’s spouse filed a petition for dissolution of marriage citing “irreconcilable differences” Aug. 5.

Smith was placed on administrative leave for an unrelated issue Aug. 9.

Sheriff Glenn Palmer served Smith Aug. 13 with a summons to appear in court for the divorce proceedings.

An OSP spokesman said its Criminal Investigations Division received a request to conduct an investigation of Smith Sept. 6.

OSP arrested Smith Sept. 9.

Smith was also the subject of a Feb. 2 complaint to Oregon’s police licensing agency, the Department of Public Safety Standards & Training, regarding an incident from Sept. 15, 2018. In the complaint, Pam Smith of Baker City said Tyler Smith “was rude, arrogant and completely out of line as an officer” while refusing to enforce a restraining order in John Day.

DPSST Professional Standards Coordinator Kristen Hibberds said in a March 4 response the department “does not have jurisdiction over the operations of law enforcement agencies” because it is “limited to the certification standards found in Oregon law and rule.”

Hibberds said the department forwarded a copy of the complaint to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office for further review.

Wright said Tyler Smith’s leave was not related to the DPSST complaint.

Carpenter said the investigation is ongoing, but “early indications are that Smith will formally be charged with attempted rape, assault and child neglect.”

Smith has posted bail and has been released from custody, Carpenter said, and is scheduled to be in court Oct. 24 for arraignment.

The cost

Wright said Tyler Smith’s hourly wage is about $22.70, so he earns about $3,934 in gross monthly wages.

All benefits remain active when an employee is on administrative leave, Wright said, including health insurance, PERS retirement, sick leave and vacation accrual, 10 paid holidays throughout the year, life insurance and long-term disability insurance.

The county pays the entire medical premium for employees and a portion of any dependents added to the plan, Wright said:

• For an employee only, the county pays $840.54.

• For an employee and spouse, the county pays $1,544.35, and the employee pays $189.54.

• For an employee and one child, the county pays $1,547.64, and the employee pays $191.74.

• For an employee and two children, the county pays $2,291, and the employee pays $687.56.

• For an employee and family, the county pays $2,335.44, and the employee pays $717.20.

Each month of Tyler Smith’s health insurance costs the county at least $840 — but likely $2,335, considering the Aug. 5 dissolution of marriage petition states Tyler Smith “should maintain medical and dental insurance” for the children.

While the PERS retirement contribution costs the county about 6% of the salary for most employees, Wright said law enforcement officers are in a different PERS category requiring a contribution of 11% of the employee’s salary.

At 11% of his wage, Tyler Smith’s PERS contribution costs about $432 per month.

Accruing 10 hours of vacation and eight hours of sick leave each month costs the county another $408.

Dividing the 80 paid holiday hours equally throughout the year gives a monthly cost of about $151.

Wright said life insurance and long-term disability costs vary by age and monthly wages but range from about $20-30 per month.

Each month Tyler Smith remains on administrative leave costs Grant County taxpayers between $5,785 and $7,290.

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