Jefferson County Sheriff Marc Heckathorn, who was voted out of office in last month’s Oregon primary, will step down from the job six months before the end of his term. That’s according to the Madras Pioneer, which also reports Heckathorn will receive severance pay equal to what he would have been paid if he stayed on the job.
The Pioneer reports the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners voted Wednesday to pay Heckathorn a severance of $82,625. That’s reportedly what he would have made if he stayed through December.
Heckathorn will step down June 20, the report said. But he will be taking vacation until that date.
Sheriff-elect Jason Pollock will be able to take office earlier with Heckathorn stepping down. Pollock defeated Heckthorn 52.20% to 43.57% and will be the only candidate on the ballot in November.
Heckathorn was appointed sheriff in July 2021 after former Sheriff Jim Adkins retired.
Pollock received key endorsements from Adkins and from Jefferson County District Attorney Steve Leriche before the election.
Heckathorn becomes the latest high-profile official to step down before the end of their terms. Former Bend Mayor Sally Russell and Bend City Councilor Rita Schenkelberg both left office on May 18. Bend is now trying to fill those two city council positions.