Appeal from Circuit Court, Multnomah County. Clifford B. Olsen, Judge.
Paul G. Mackey, Deputy County Counsel, Portland, argued the cause for appellants. On the brief were Desmond D. Connall, District Attorney, and William T. Park, Deputy District Attorney, Portland.
Ronald G. Talney, Portland, argued the cause and filed the brief for respondent.
Thornton, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Foley, Judge.
This appeal involves the construction and application of an ordinance enacted by the Board of County Commissioners for Multnomah County establishing a special retirement program for some of the personnel of the county's Department of Public Safety (formerly Multnomah County Sheriff's office).
Petitioner, a deputy sheriff who is employed by the department as a corrections officer, brought a mandamus action to compel defendants, who are members of the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff's Retirement Board, to accept her application for membership in the special retirement program provided by this ordinance.
Defendants demurred on the ground that the alternative writ did not state facts sufficient to constitute a cause for allowing the writ. The trial judge overruled the demurrer and defendants filed an answer alleging that petitioner does not perform any duties as a "sworn law enforcement officer"; that she had previously elected to, and was already covered by, the general retirement system provided for all other county employes; that petitioner was not eligible to membership in the special retirement program created by Ordinance No. 25; and that in any event she was excluded by the terms of a subsequent amendatory ordinance, No. 29, which further defined and limited the term "sworn law enforcement personnel."
After a trial on stipulated facts, the trial judge granted a peremptory writ ordering defendants to admit petitioner to the special retirement program established by Ordinance No. 25. Defendants appeal.
The central question presented for our decision
is: Is petitioner eligible to membership in the special retirement program established by Ordinance No. 25?
Petitioner has been a deputy sheriff since 1956, and has not yet reached retirement age. Her job classification until 1968 was that of jail matron. In that year she was reclassified and designated as corrections officer. At all times petitioner performed her duties under a commission as a deputy sheriff, last having been sworn on January 5, 1967. Throughout her employment petitioner has been a member of the regular existing retirement system for county employes. Salary deductions toward that plan have been made reflecting her job classification under county civil service.
On July 10, 1969, the Board of County Commissioners for Multnomah County enacted Ordinance No. 25 which established a special retirement program for "sworn law enforcement personnel," with benefits superior to those provided by the ...