Clallam County hires attorney for embattled county official Sheila Roark Miller – PDN

Clallam County Community Development Director Sheila Roark Miller could face a variety of charges stemming from a complaint about her allegedly altering records. The original complaint appears to have been for forcing unpaid overtime, but now is expanded to include what is believed to be a possible charge of back-dating a development permit to ensure the developer would not have to comply with rigorous new water conservation rules that went into effect in Jan of this year, according to my sources. If accurate, that charge apparently could be one of the felony charges mentioned.  Ms. Miller, in her role as DCD head and a landowner/river water user with her farm in the Sequim Valley, has been  a member of the Dungeness River Management Team, and originally ran against an environmentally supportive (and supported by the environmental community)  head of DCD. DCD has also been overseeing the Clallam County Shoreline Master Program update.  Likely Ms. Miller will  take a prolonged leave of absence, and probably resignation would follow while she awaits the pending charges. It would (and likely already has) put a serious cloud over the SMP update. We hope that these charges are unfounded, as it would bring into question much of the work done by her office since she took the reins.

Why does this matter to Jefferson County? Because the movement to create a “Charter County” would make the DCD position an elected position, and lead to inevitable politicization of the position. Currently we do not elect our DCD head, it is a typical county position hired by looking at experience and related job backgrounds. In fact, the PDN has mentioned in the past that this is the *only* elected DCD official in the US. The fact that Clallam County is a charter county allows this position to be made  into a political, rather than professional one.