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Harris v. Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

Court of Appeals of Oregon

July 26, 2017

Aaron A. HARRIS, Petitioner,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY STANDARDS AND TRAINING, Respondent.

          Submitted March 16, 2017

         Department of Public Safety Standards and Training 39594

          Jennifer K. Chapman fled the briefs for petitioner.

          Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, and Peenesh Shah, Assistant Attorney General, fled the brief for respondent.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Lagesen, Judge, and Wilson, Senior Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Petitioner seeks judicial review of an order of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) that revoked his certifcation to work as a corrections offcer in accordance with OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a) (D)-a rule adopted by DPSST that mandates revocation of a corrections offcer certifcate when the certifcate holder has been convicted of an offense listed in the rule. On review, petitioner argues that DPSST reached that conclusion based on an erroneous interpretation of OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a)(D). Held: DPSST's interpretation of OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a)(D) is plausible, and we, therefore, defer to the agency's interpretation of its own rule. DPSST did not err when it revoked petitioner's corrections certifcation.

         Affrmed.

         [287 Or.App. 112] WILSON, S. J.

         Petitioner seeks judicial review of an order of the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) that revoked his certification to work as a corrections officer in accordance with OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a)(D)- a rule adopted by DPSST that mandates revocation of a corrections officer certificate when the certificate holder has been convicted of an offense listed in the rule. DPSST revoked petitioner's certification after his conviction for one count of negotiating a bad check, ORS 165.065, which had been reduced to a violation. ORS 165.065 is an offense listed in OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a)(D). On review, in petitioner's sole assignment of error, he argues that DPSST reached that conclusion based on an erroneous interpretation of OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a)(D). We conclude that DPSST's interpretation of OAR 259-008-0070(3)(a)(D) was plausible, and we therefore affirm.

         Because it is helpful in understanding the issues in this case, we begin by setting forth the legal framework. Under ORS 181A.640(1)(b), DPSST may revoke a public safety officer's certification based on a finding that "[t]he public safety officer or instructor has been convicted of a crime or violation in this state or any other jurisdiction." ORS 181A.640(5), in turn, directs DPSST to promulgate rules "specifying those crimes and violations for which a conviction requires the denial, suspension or revocation of the certification of a public safety officer or instructor." Under that directive, DPSST promulgated OAR 259-008-0070, which provides, in relevant part,

"(3) Mandatory Grounds for Denying or Revoking Certification of a Public Safety Professional:
"(a) Standards and Certification must deny or revoke the certification of any public safety professional after written notice and ...

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