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Acting Wasco DA Installed; Nisley Contends AG Can’t Remove Him From Office

An assistant attorney general with the Oregon Department of Justice has been installed as acting District Attorney in Wasco County while D.A. Eric Nisley serves a 60-day suspension and questions swirl around whether he can return to the position after the suspension ends.  Nisley’s suspension for lying to state investigators began on Monday, as a January 30 letter from state Deputy Attorney General Frederick Boss to Governor Kate Brown opined that the suspension causes Nisley to lose statutory qualification for election, and makes the office vacant until the Governor makes an appointment or a successor is elected.  But Nisley told Bicoastal Media in a statement on Wednesday that he is an elected official and “does not agree the Attorney General’s office can remove him from office.”  He also said he believes it is in the best interest of justice that he steps away from the office during his suspension, adding the lawyers and staff in his office are “very competent and will insure victims are protected and offenders are held accountable.”  Oregon Department of Justice spokesperson Kristina Edmundson says Jayme Kimberly, a former deputy district attorney in Polk and Yamhill counties, has been installed as acting District Attorney.  Governor’s spokesperson Charles Boyle confirmed Wednesday that there is no current timeline for making a decision about whether to make a permanent appointment.  The position is on the ballot in November, and Nisley has filed for re-election.