Local government

Wolfe announces he is retiring in April

Brian Wolfe announced he is retiring as Malheur County sheriff, stepping down in April.

Wolfe, who has been sheriff since 2011, told the Malheur County Court during its regular meeting on Wednesday, March 1, that he would later work part time for Bentz Insurance in Vale.

Wolfe recommended the court appoint his undersheriff, Travis Johnson, to fill out the remainder of his term.

He was re-elected to a four-year term in 2020, defeating Ontario police officer Casey Walker.

Wolfe said changes in state laws was a motivation. He cited Ballot Measure 110, passed by Oregon voters in 2020, that reduced penalties for personal possession of drugs, and Ballot Measure 114, which imposed new restrictions on gun ownership.

He also cited new mandates on policing approved in recent legislative sessions.

“I’m not dealing well with some of the law enforcement reforms in Oregon,” Wolfe said.

He said has seen people stay too long in jobs and that if a person can’t be fully effective “then you need to get out.”

This story will be updated.