ENTERPRISE — The Enterprise Police Department is still in the market for a new police chief, the city having rescinded its offer to Seaside Police Chief David Ham.
City Administrator Lacey McQuead confirmed that in an email Wednesday, Dec. 30.
“He will not be joining the Enterprise Police Department,” McQuead wrote. “I am not able to go into detail regarding this decision.”
The vacancy arose because EPD Chief Joel Fish was elected Wallowa County sheriff in November. He was sworn into that office Monday, Jan. 4.
Ham said by telephone Dec. 30 that the offer was conditional based on the city conducting a background check, medical check and other investigations. He said the city would not go into the details of why it rescinded the offer.
“I think the best they figured it is not the best personality fit,” Ham said.
McQuead wrote that the chief-selection process will be restarted.
“We will be reopening the position Jan. 4,” she wrote. “In the meantime, I will be working with the (police) department to keep things moving forward. Our hope is to have a chief hired sometime in February.”
In the interim, the city will have no official acting police chief. McQuead wrote that she would be working with the three officers along with some assistance from the Wallowa County Sheriff’s Office, if necessary.
“The Enterprise Police Department will still be providing the same services we are providing now,” McQuead wrote.
The city made the offer to the 25-year law enforcement veteran after discussing the matter in executive session Nov. 9. He accepted the conditional offer Nov. 13.
The city’s decision was made after a three-part hiring process, which included an application scoring committee and interviews by a panel consisting of the council’s Executive Committee, law enforcement personnel and multiple community leaders and partners. The decision was finalized through a formal recommendation made to the council by the Enterprise Police Committee.
Ham remains at his position in Seaside.
“If they change their minds, they can give me a call back,” he said.