Multnomah County’s largest public employee union is calling for Sheriff Dan Staton to step down.
 
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 88 represents about 3,500 county employees. The union said Sheriff Staton is cultivating a culture of “vindictiveness, disrespect and retaliation against anyone who disagrees with him.”
 
In a statement, the union also said Sheriff Staton engages in “boorish treatment of other elected officials, women, people of color, judges and others in law enforcement.”
 
Union president Jason Heilbrun said the recent string of stories reported in the media reflects things union members have been experiencing for some time.
 
“There’s a toxic and dysfunctional relationship at all levels of the command structure in the sheriff’s office,” he said.
 
A spokesman for Staton said he hadn’t yet talked with the sheriff about the union’s demand and didn’t immediately have a comment. Staton has consistently said he’s done nothing wrong.
 
On Monday, Multnomah County patrol deputies issued a “no-confidence” vote against the sheriff.
 
“They (AFSCME Local 88) see the same issues we do,” said Greg Vining, a detective in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s office and vice president of the deputy sheriff’s association. “I would hope the sheriff hears enough people asking him to step down and that he would seriously consider that.”
 
He said the mood in the sheriff’s office is probably most uncomfortable for the command staff, who aren’t protected by the union.
 
“We’re all held to a pretty high standard and it’s uncomfortable when our leader doesn’t adhere to those same standards,” Vining said.
 
Earlier, County Chair Deborah Kafoury asked the Oregon Department of Justice to investigate Staton due to his chief deputy’s claims that the sheriff created a hostile work environment. The state attorney general decided last week not to prosecute Staton.