Sunriver Police Chief Marc Mills has resigned.
Mills was charged with a misdemeanor crime of harassment last month by Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel after Mills allegedly struck a sergeant who worked for him.
Mills was also the subject of an internal investigation by the Sunriver Service District over administrative rule violations, violations of the employee handbook and cultural practices at the department.
“Although the District had not yet made any final decisions related to his employment, Chief Mills recognizes that, under the circumstances, it is untenable for him to continue his leadership of the Sunriver Police Department,” Jim Fister, chair of the Sunriver Service District, said in a statement.
“Therefore, he has tendered his resignation to the District under a negotiated separation agreement. The District has accepted his resignation, and has concluded its investigation.”
Mills allegedly struck Sunriver Police Sgt. Joseph Patnode. Both Mills and Patnode were working at the police station at the time. Patnode maintains his employment with the Sunriver Police Department. The altercation was reportedly witnessed by an administrative staff worker who reported the incident to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
“Chief Marc Mills is a good police officer,” Fister said in a statement. “One of his most recognized sayings is that the rules apply to everyone, equally, and I greatly respect that Marc recognizes this in making his decision.”
Mills began as Sunriver police chief in 2012.
According to his employment contract with the district, Mills had a salary of $100,000 a year and was subject to raises based on performance.
Mills was also an “at will employee” who was subject to termination “at any time for any reason.” If terminated, Mills’ contract included severance pay computed on one week’s salary for each month worked to a maximum of 26 weeks.
Mills was on paid administrative leave while the district conducted its investigation. Bend Police Capt. Cory Darling has been filling in since that date.
“It is unfortunate that his tenure with the Sunriver Police Department is ending in this manner, and the District thanks Marc for his service and wishes him well,” Fister wrote.