Petition for review allowed January 30, 1973; On review from Court of Appeals.
Graham Walker, Portland, argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs was Ronald G. Talney, Portland.
Paul G. Mackey, Portland, argued the cause for respondents. On the brief were Desmond D. Connall, Multnomah County District Attorney, and William T. Park, Deputy District Attorney, Portland.
Plaintiff brought a mandamus proceeding to force defendants, custodians of the Multnomah County Deputy Sheriff's Retirement Board, to include plaintiff in the retirement system for sworn law enforcement personnel of the Department of Public Safety. The trial court granted the writ and defendants appealed to the Court of Appeals. That court reversed the trial court and dismissed the application for the writ. 11 Or App 488, 502 P2d 601 (1972). The Supreme Court granted review.
Plaintiff has been employed since 1956 by the Department of Public Safety or its predecessor, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. Her job classification until 1968 was that of Jail Matron, after which time she was reclassified as a Corrections Officer, which position she presently holds. At all times plaintiff has performed her duties under a commission and oath as a deputy sheriff.
On July 10, 1969, the Board of County Commissioners enacted Ordinance No. 25. The ordinance provided:
"An Ordinance providing for a retirement system for deputy sheriffs of Multnomah County.
"Multnomah County ordains as follows:
"A retirement system for sworn law enforcement personnel of Multnomah County is hereby established in accordance with and under the authority of Section 7.50 of Chapter VII, Multnomah
County Home Rule Charter, as prescribed in the following articles:
"(1) Sworn law enforcement personnel as used in this ordinance shall mean such employees of Multnomah County assigned to the Department of Public Safety who perform their duties, under an oath administered to law enforcement personnel, and who are required to render service as such to the County * * *." (Emphasis added.)
Pursuant to Ordinance No. 25 plaintiff demanded admission to coverage under the new retirement plan and the demand was refused by defendants. Plaintiff performed all the acts which were precedent to her right to make contributions and to have contributions made on her behalf by the county if qualification requirements were met. Prior to the enactment of Ordinance No. 25, plaintiff was contributing to an existing retirement plan under Multnomah County Civil Service. Because of the refusal of admission to the new plan she has continued to do so.
Subsequent to plaintiff's application and defendants' refusal to accept her, Ordinance No. 25, after being in effect for nine months, was amended by Ordinance No. 29, which identified sworn law enforcement personnel as employees of the ...