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Grant v. Multnomah County

July 16, 1973

GRANT, APPELLANT,
v.
MULTNOMAH COUNTY ET AL, RESPONDENTS



Appeal from Circuit Court, Multnomah County. Pat Dooley, Judge. No. 372-705.

Michael Esler, Portland, argued the cause for appellant. On the brief were David W. Harper and Keane, Haessler, Harper, Pearlman and Copeland, Portland.

Paul G. Mackey, Deputy County Counsel, Portland, argued the cause for respondents. With him on the brief was Charles S. Evans, County Counsel, Portland.

Fort, Judge. Schwab, Chief Judge, and Langtry, Judge.

Fort

Plaintiff seeks by this declaratory judgment action a declaration that he and other employes of the department of judicial administration performing functions similar to his own are entitled to be under the same retirement system as are the sworn law enforcement officers who are employed in the department of public safety. This is an appeal by him from an order entered in that proceeding adverse to him and dismissing the suit.

Oregon Constitution, Art VI, § 10, provides in part:

"* * * A county charter may provide for the exercise by the county of authority over matters of county concern * * * shall prescribe the organization of the county government and shall provide

directly, or by its authority, for the number, election or appointment, qualifications, tenure, compensation, powers and duties of such officers as the county deems necessary. Such officers shall among them exercise all the powers and perform all the duties, as distributed by the charter or by its authority, now or hereafter, by the Constitution or laws of this state, granted to or imposed upon any county officer. * * *" (Emphasis supplied.)

Multnomah County by a vote of the people adopted a new county charter effective January 1, 1967. Among its provisions the charter declared the powers of the county "not vested by the charter elsewhere" vested in the board of county commissioners, with discretion to delegate such powers.

Also, at § 2.10, general authority "over matters of county concern" was granted

"* * * to the fullest extent granted or allowed by the constitutions and laws of the United States and the State of Oregon, as fully as though each particular power comprised in that general authority were specifically listed in the charter."

As to creation of administrative departments within the government structure, § 6.30 (1) dictates that "* * * the board of county commissioners * * * shall prescribe the functions of each administrative department of the county * * *." And, at § 6.30 (2) (a), establishing the ...


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