By Keith Mansur
Oregon Cannabis Connection
As was expected, the long awaited exit of Sheriff Mike Winters from the Sheriff’s office in Jackson County is days away. On Jan 5th, Ashland Deputy Police Chief Corey Falls, who grew up in the Applegate, takes over. Fals thoroughly trounced the incumbent Sheriff by receiving over 75% of the vote, which was no surprise after Winters announced that he would “retire” after the election and actually threw his support behind his opponent, an odd and surprisingly humble move by the usually hardened, egotistical, and dismissive Sheriff.
Falls told the Medford Mail Tribune, “”We’re excited by those results…I had an incredible team that helped support me and moved me forward. I think it’s also people hearing our message that we’re going to be open and transparent.”
Winters was under attack for excessive spending, unsolved murders, preoccupation with marijuana, and an overall bad attitude. He received a 4% job approval rating from his own employees, and had little respect from many deputies.
Local attitudes are changing, too. Not only are people more accepting of marijuana and local hippies, they are shedding their racist fears. This once racially divided county, one that had sundown laws for African-Americans until the 60’s, has elected it’s first African-American Sheriff. Way to go Jackson County, its not all ignorant rednecks down here!