CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Sheriff Scott Jackson of Benton County is trying to prove that he lives where he serves.
Last May, former Benton County Deputy Eric Konzelman filed a legal action that claims Jackson lives an hour away in Waldport in Lincoln County.
According to property records obtained by Konzelman's lawyer, Jackson took out a $413,000 Veterans Affairs-backed mortgage for a home in Waldport which is under his own name. This was shortly after Jackson ran for re-election in 2017 and listed his Philomath home as his primary residence.
Dan Thenell, Konzelman's lawyer, said other deputies have seen Jackson make the commute from Waldport to Corvallis frequently. He also said this is not the only problem in the Benton County Sheriff's Office.
"There is a group of people in the community that are concerned about the management of the office and this is kind of one of the issues that people are concerned about," says Thenell.
But Jackson insists that Philomath is his permanent home and he and his wife bought the Waldport home as a second "vacation" home. He said he has been at the Waldport home a lot more recently due to damages that he's trying to repair at that home.
He called the former deputy's action unnecessary and said it's keeping him from doing his job.
"I still have a job to do, and I can't allow one person in the office who is angry and bitter and dictating how I move forward," said Jackson. "We will move forward as an office to do the good things that we do serving the community that we serve."
Konzelman was fired the day the legal action was filed. But his lawyer said that he will be filing a federal lawsuit against the Benton County Sheriff's Office as retaliation for his termination.