The Plumas County Board of Supervisors seemingly put a final dramatic end to the career of Sheriff Terry Bergstrand when it refused to consider acting upon an e-mail from the sheriff informing the board that he would return to work for another year.
Chairwoman Sherrie Thrall asked County Counsel James Reichle to explain the board’s options.
Reichle said the board, as the agency that accepted the sheriff’s retirement notice in August, could decide to rescind their acceptance of the retirement if it chose, but that Bergstrand would no longer be the sheriff as of midnight Dec. 30 if the board chose not to act.
He added that the agenda item at the supervisors’ Dec. 15 meeting was to appoint an interim sheriff to fill the final year of Bergstrand’s term, and the supervisors would have to add an urgency item if they wished to discuss or act upon the sheriff’s e-mail request.
Reichle also said there seemed to be some confusion on the sheriff’s part in terms of the rules on undoing his retirement.
“Well, he really hasn’t requested that we approve it. He’s more or less told us that’s what he’s going to do,” Thrall agreed.
Supervisor Robert Meacher motioned the urgency item be added, saying he wanted to hear from Undersheriff Greg Hagwood about what would happen if the board didn’t take action.
Meacher also said he had heard there could be a legal challenge brought by the sheriff.
The rest of the board didn’t seem interested in getting anywhere near the idea of bringing the sheriff back or even discussing the issue further, and the motion died for the lack of a second.
Reichle said he didn’t recommend the board act on the actual agenda item either until after the retirement became effective Dec. 30, in case Bergstrand tried to challenge the legality of the board’s decision.
He added the next in command—currently Undersheriff Greg Hagwood— would assume all powers of the sheriff once the position was vacated so there was no risk in waiting for that to occur.
The board unanimously decided to continue the decision of whom to appoint as interim sheriff until the first meeting in January.
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