Grant County has discharged the sheriff’s office deputy awaiting trial on attempted rape and other charges.
Tyler Smith was discharged by Grant County Sheriff’s Office Dec. 17, and he is no longer an active law enforcement officer, according to the Oregon Criminal Justice Information Records Inquiry System maintained by the state’s police licensing agency.
Grant County Human Resources Manager Laurie Wright confirmed Smith no longer works for the county but said the reason he is not employed is conditionally exempt from public disclosure under an Oregon law shielding personnel discipline actions. Because it is a conditional exemption, the records are not exempt if the public interest requires their disclosure.
A Sept. 27 grand jury indictment filed in Grant County Circuit Court accuses Smith, 33, of John Day of first-degree attempted rape, a class B felony, and attempted first-degree sex abuse and fourth-degree assault, class C felonies — all constituting domestic violence. The indictment accuses Smith of attempting to engage in sexual intercourse with his spouse on Aug. 31, 2018, “by forcible compulsion” and while knowing she was pregnant.
He also faces four class A misdemeanor charges of second-degree child neglect, accused of leaving two children under the age of 10 unattended at a John Day residence “for such a period of time as was likely to endanger the health or welfare” of the children on Sept. 4 and Sept. 5, according to information filed in court Sept. 10 by Grant County Special Deputy District Attorney Gretchen M. Ladd Dobler.
Smith filed a motion in court Dec. 11 to modify the conditions of his pretrial release “to allow him to possess firearms solely for the purposes of employment.” In a declaration in support of the motion, Smith’s attorney said his client has no criminal history except for a reckless endangering conviction in 2008, the current allegations do not involve firearms and Smith’s employment requires he carry firearms while on the job. Ladd Dobler opposed the motion. A hearing on a motion in the case is scheduled for Feb. 6.
Smith was arrested Sept. 9, but he had already been placed on administrative leave Aug. 9 for an unrelated issue, Wright said. Grant County District Attorney Jim Carpenter said Smith had been placed on leave “for issues related to the performance of his duties as a sheriff’s deputy.”
While on administrative leave from Aug. 9 to Dec. 16, Smith continued to earn county wages and benefits, costing the county between $5,785 and $7,290 per month depending on insurance options, totaling about $23,000-29,000.
Another sheriff’s office employee, Deputy Abigail Mobley, is still employed by the county after being placed on administrative leave March 18. Grant County officials have declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding the leave or to provide documents requested by the Eagle, stating the information was part of a “pending criminal investigation being conducted by a third-party state agency.” The Oregon Department of Justice confirmed an investigation involving Mobley was still ongoing in December, but Communications Director Kristina Edmunson has not responded to an email from the Eagle sent Jan. 3.
Mobley’s wages and benefits cost the county between $5,600 and $7,100 per month, so more than nine months of administrative leave has cost the county between $53,000 and $67,500.
In other sheriff’s office news, Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer met with Wright and the Grant County Court members in executive session at a special meeting Jan. 3 to consider the employment of a public officer. Following the executive session, the court agreed “to formulate a reply denying the grievance” filed by an unnamed person “based on lack of specificity and the absence of relevant facts.” The court asked Palmer to ensure representatives of the county’s insurance agency received copies of the letter.