Sunriver Police Chief has First Court Date

Sunriver Police Chief Marc Mills, who was charged with misdemeanor harassment, was scheduled to make an initial appearance in Deschutes County Circuit Court today but his attorney, Erick Ward, appeared on his behalf.

Mills allegedly  shoved police sergeant Joseph Patnode hard enough for the sergeant’s head to hit the wall behind him. The physical altercation  occurred on December 1st while both Mills and Patnode were on duty at the Sunriver Police station. The altercation was witnessed by a Sunriver Police administrative staff member Tiffany Hughes ,who reported the incident to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

The Oregon Department of Justice has also opened an investigation into The 62-year-old , who’s been placed on paid administrative leave by the Sunriver District Board  since December 3rd. Mills has served as Sunriver police chief since 2012.

Mills next court date is March 6th at 8:30 am when he’s scheduled to formally enter a plea. Today Judge Bethany Powers Flint ordered Mills to report to the jail to be finger printed before his next court date. She also honored the state’s request that Mills have no contact with neither Patnode nor Hughes. 

Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton caught up with Mills’ lawyer Ward at the court house after today’s proceedings.

Negotiations with Mills Move Forward

The Sunriver Service District Board agreed to negotiate a potential settlement with Chief Marc Mills during its meeting on Monday.

The Sunriver Service District Managing Board held a public meeting Monday to decide the employment of Police Chief Marc Mills, who was charged Thursday with misdemeanor harassment after an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice.

According to a statement from Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel, Mills, 62, struck Sgt. Joseph Patnode while both men were on duty. Mills stuck Patnode hard enough that he fell into the wall behind him. Another officer who witnessed the incident reported it to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Mills has been on paid administrative leave since Dec. 3 and the board is conducting an administrative investigation focused on Mills’ alleged harassment and the culture of the police department.

The board voted on Monday to allow board chair Jim Fister and the service district’s lawyer to negotiate a potential settlement with Mills, who expressed interest in potentially resigning from his position as police chief.

Community members came out on Monday, mostly in support of Mills. Many commented that they would like Mills to keep his job, saying he was beloved in the community both as police chief and as a person.

Hear more from Monday’s meeting with Central Oregon Daily’s Lisa Carton tonight at 6 p.m. and again at 7 p.m.