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Douglas County Sheriff endorses Alek Skarlatos for Congress

Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin has endorsed Republican candidate Alek Skarlatos for U.S. House District 4.

Skarlatos is seeking the Republican nomination for the seat in 2022.

District 4 is currently represented by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, but DeFazio has announced he plans to retire at the end of his current term.

Hanlin cited Skarlatos’ military experience and support for law enforcement in making his endorsement.

“Alek Skarlatos is a veteran of Afghanistan and shares my value of protecting our communities and I am proud to endorse him for Congress,” Hanlin said in a news release Monday.

“Our local police officers, firefighters, and first responders will always be able to count on Alek Skarlatos,” Hanlin said.

Skarlatos said he was thankful for Hanlin’s support and also pledged never to vote to defund the police.

“If elected, I will have law enforcements’ back as they defend our communities,” Skarlatos said.

Skarlatos is a veteran of the Oregon National Guard who is perhaps best known as one of four men who thwarted a would-be terrorist on a Paris-bound train in 2015.

He later starred in the Clint Eastwood film about that event called “15:17 to Paris.”

Skarlatos made an unsuccessful attempt to unseat DeFazio during the 2020 election, losing that race by a margin of 46% to 52%.

Even without DeFazio in the race, Skarlatos could face an uphill battle in November if he is selected for the Republican ticket. That’s because the recently completed redistricting has made the district safer for Democratic candidates.

Democrat Val Hoyle, Oregon’s labor commissioner and the former majority leader, has announced she is running for the position. Other candidates include Democrat Andrew Kalloch and Republican Jeremy Van Tress.

Gary Wayman, master fundraiser, dead at 79

Gary Wayman was a friend of all nonprofit organizations and worked most of his adult life raising millions of dollars for nonprofit groups in Douglas County.

He passed away on Dec. 6, at the age of 79 just three weeks after the death of his wife Charlotte. But he left behind a long legacy of successful fundraising campaigns.

Wayman came to Roseburg in 1979 to work for the YMCA of Douglas County and later served as director of the Mercy Foundation. He did a lot of fundraising for large capital campaigns for nonprofit groups in the county, a career that spanned more than 40 years. His focus was mainly on community service raising funds for many local projects.

He was born in Salt Lake City, raised in San Francisco and graduated from San Jose State University in 1964. He began his career at the Los Gatos YMCA in California before coming to Roseburg. After a short stint as the financial director for the national YMCA in Pennsylvania, he came back to Roseburg and was hired as executive director of the YMCA in Roseburg. He served in that capacity from 1980-88.

Wayman took over as director of Mercy Foundation in 1988 until 1997. During his tenure, he worked with Ron Preston and former Mercy Foundation Director Dan Hern to organize the Festival of Trees fundraising campaign. He helped turn the event into a major fundraiser for the foundation.

Courtesy of the Wayman family  

Longtime supporter of nonprofit fundraising campaigns, Gary Wayman, (center), talks with CHI Mercy Medical Center CEO Kelly Morgan (right), and chaplain at CHI Mercy Medical Center Father Cletus Osuji, about a fundraising project.

Hern, who was the auctioneer at many charity events over the years, worked closely with Wayman on many of the nonprofit campaigns. Hern said a lot of the success of those auctions was because of Wayman’s knowledge on how to conduct the fundraisers.

“He was an amazing person, he was very quiet in the way he did it,” Hern said. “Gary helped me in fundraising and how to go about it. On the level of fundraising, there was nobody better than he.”

Mark Wayman, Gary Wayman’s son, said his father was all about community and loved working for nonprofit groups.

“I think he just felt he wanted to give back to the community that’s given him so much,” Mark Wayman said.

Gary Wayman had a passion for helping the community and really enjoyed people.

“He and I talked about that and I asked him what drives him to raise funds,” said his daughter Cheryl Wood. “And he said nobody knows how to do it.”

“I think he was the most social person I ever met in my life, there wasn’t anybody that he couldn’t have a conversation with,” said daughter-in-law Rebecca Wayman. “Any stranger on the street he met, he made a friend.”

Gary Wayman spearheaded large-scale fundraisers for the Community Cancer Center in Roseburg, UCAN buildings on the nonprofit campus, and the Winston Community Center. He worked on a capital campaign for an expansion project at the Phoenix School in Roseburg, and also helped with the YMCA, DaVita Roseburg Mercy Dialysis, Adapt’s adult residential treatment facility and of course, Mercy Foundation’s Festival of Trees.

“Gary was a master at the capital campaign,” said Lisa Platt, the current president of Mercy Foundation. “Gary had a lot of knowledge, knew a lot of people and he set a very high bar for philanthropy in our community and he was one of the first ones to start looking at planned giving leaving a legacy for the future.”

Courtesy of the Wayman family  

Gary Wayman and his wife Charlotte Wayman celebrating the New Year in 2021. Gary Wayman died on Dec. 6, three weeks after Charlotte.

Wayman served on a multitude of boards for nonprofit agencies. He served on boards for Adapt, the Douglas County Museum Foundation, the Douglas County Library Foundation, the Central Douglas United Way, YMCA of Douglas County, the Douglas County Red Cross, the Roseburg Chamber of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Club of the Umpqua Valley and was on the Open Door Clinic board (which later became Umpqua Community Health Center and then Aviva Health). He was also a member of the Chamber Greeters, Executive Club, Roseburg Rotary and was a Wildlife Safari Trustee.

“The numerous boards he served on was just crazy,” Mark Wayman said.

When Gary Wayman left the job as director of Mercy Foundation in 1997, he start a consulting company, but he had left a lasting impact with the foundation.

“He was always supportive and a great ambassador for the mission of Mercy,” Platt said.

The consulting partnership was originally called Fundraisers and Management Solutions, LLC, but was later changed to Insights for Non-Profits, specializing in fundraising campaigns for nonprofit groups. After his original partner moved away, Susie Johnson-Forte became his partner. She said the first moment she met Gary, it was all about community service.

“He made such a humongous impact between the Y and the Mercy Foundation and of course United Way and Adapt, and of course all of the smaller projects in helping the nonprofits and he was always willing to just help from the goodness of his heart,” Johnson-Forte said.

She said Gary Wayman was a great partner to work with, always staying on top of things and knowing what the community needed.

Gary Wayman’s wife Charlotte worked for a local doctor for many years, and when she retired from that job, she began serving on the Mercy Foundation committees. Platt said it was not hard to get her to volunteer.

“Charlotte was very bubbly, a lot like Gary, and liked to be around people,” Platt said.

Courtesy of the Wayman family  

Gary Wayman, who died on Dec. 6, was known for his colorful clothing, especially when one of his favorite teams were playing.

Wayman was known for his colorful clothing, especially when one of his favorite teams was playing.

“He had to have the shirt to match the pants to match the shoes,” said daughter Cheryl Wood. “He was a 49ers fan and a Duck fan and you could always see him coming.”

“He was one of the greatest dads you could ever have in growing up,” Mark Wayman said. “He taught us the ways of life and what it took to work hard, and the moral values that he taught us as kids.”

Wood said her dad loved being with his family and he would do anything for any of his grandkids.

“One played baseball, one played soccer, one played in the band, and he was at every game, every concert, every event he could be at,” Wood said.

“He was that quiet guy that really carried a big stick in the community and, I feel, urged us all to be better,” Platt said.

Gary Wayman was named the Roseburg Chamber of Commerce Male First Citizen of the Year in January of 2010 and also was awarded the Chamber’s Georgia Gratke Award in 1997.

“You could hang your hat on him, if you wanted something done,” Hern said. “And he’s going to be missed.”

A celebration of life is tentatively planned some time in February or March for both Gary and Charlotte Wayman, who had been married for 57 years.

Damascus man arrested, charged with breaking into Public Safety Center

A Damascus man was arrested Friday morning, after allegedly breaking into the Roseburg Public Safety Center.

Roseburg Police Department personnel found that sometime overnight Thursday, someone climbed the fence of the safety center and then up onto a second-floor overhang before breaking into the Criminal Investigations Division through a window, according to court documents.

Numerous items were believed to have been stolen, including two handheld radios, a ballistic vest, pink-colored handcuffs and clothing, including a pair of white gym shoes. The interior of the building also sustained significant damage, including graffiti and the cutting of multiple computer and phone cords.

Around 9 a.m. Friday, an officer on patrol spotted a male in the 500 block of Northeast Stephens Street believed to be wearing the stolen gym shoes. Once confirming the sneakers were the shoes stolen the night before, a further search of Shaun Louis Bergeron, 31, also uncovered a ballistic vest, one handheld radio and a set of pink handcuffs.

As officers conducted a search of the safety center’s gated compound, additional items were found hidden in the shrubbery, including a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office booking sheet which included Bergeron’s photo.

Bergeron was arraigned in Douglas County Circuit Court Friday afternoon and charged with first-degree burglary, first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree criminal trespass and for being a felon in possession of body armor. Bail was set at $20,000.

Former RPD officer pleads no contest to misconduct charges, surrenders his badge

Former Roseburg Police Cpl. George Sheppard stood before a judge Monday and pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of official misconduct, thereby likely avoiding jail time but almost certainly ending his career as a law enforcement officer.

Sheppard, 41, was terminated on Aug. 16 following an internal administrative investigation, which found that he used excessive force during the May arrest of a homeless woman who reportedly spit at him. Sheppard later lied about what occurred.

Sheppard appeared in the courtroom of Douglas County Circuit Court Judge William Marshall on Monday afternoon, flanked by his Roseburg attorney James DeVecchio. Tall and lanky, his gray hair trimmed short, Sheppard stood through most of the brief hearing, speaking only to answer Marshall’s questions.

The case against Sheppard was investigated by the Oregon State Police and prosecuted by the Lane County District Attorney’s office. Lane County Prosecutor Matthew Wojcik, who is handling the case, appeared at the hearing remotely via a TV set up in the courtroom.

As part of the plea agreement, Sheppard will enter a six-month diversion program. Upon completion of the program, and as long as he meets the terms of the agreement — which were not discussed Monday — the case against Sheppard will be dismissed.

Sheppard, who had been with the department for nearly 12 years, faced a maximum penalty of 364 days in jail and a $6,250 fine. He also agreed to relinquish his safety officer certification from the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, which is required to be a law enforcement officer in the state.

The incident that led to Sheppard’s criminal charges and termination occurred on the afternoon of May 28, and involved the arrest of a woman named Lacey Jean Haylene Mulholland.

Mulholland, 40, who is listed in court documents as a transient, has a lengthy criminal record. Records show she has been arrested 61 times in the last decade. The arrests include charges of possession of methamphetamines or other controlled substances, resisting arrest, trespassing, disorderly conduct, littering, failure to appear, menacing, assault, robbery and assaulting a public safety officer.

According to Roseburg Police Department records, on the afternoon of May 28, dispatch received a call about a woman stealing tools from a work truck at a business in the 2200 block of Northwest Aviation Drive. The caller said he had seen a woman running from the location, and dropping some tools as she did. The caller last saw the woman climbing a fence and heading toward the interstate. Sheppard and Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Noel Garcia arrived on the scene and attempted to detain the woman, who was later identified as Mulholland. She fought the officers, according to the probable cause affidavit written by Roseburg officer Brandon Halter.

“Lacey was very uncooperative and kicked and tried to bite Corporal Sheppard and Deputy Garcia as they attempted to place Lacey in handcuffs,” Halter wrote. “I observed some of the physical altercation as I was driving to them. Corporal Sheppard later told me that Lacey spat on his face and shoulder during the struggle.”

The affidavit went on to say that Mulholland continued to fight with Sheppard and Garcia.

“Even through her continued flailing and kicking, Corporal Sheppard and Deputy Garcia were able to get her detained in handcuffs,” Halter wrote. He also said he saw a screwdriver laying on the ground next to the work truck and a meth pipe on the ground near where Mulholland jumped the fence.

It is unclear just what Sheppard did that resulted in his criminal charges and termination. Court documents about the incident are vague. The count against Sheppard reads as follows: “The defendant, on or about May 28, 2021, did unlawfully and knowingly, with the intent to harm another, perform an act constituting an unauthorized exercise in official duties.”

Roseburg Police Chief Gary Klopfenstein did not respond to a request from The News-Review to comment on the matter; nor did City Manager Nikki Messenger or City Recorder Amy Sowa.

Sowa refused to make public any documents associated with Sheppard that would shed light on the case. She said that according to Oregon statutes, a disciplinary action and any documents supporting that action — such as the results of the internal administrative investigation that was conducted on Sheppard — do not have to be made public.

Sheppard did not return a call seeking comment and his attorney declined to comment.

Mulholland was indicted on four charges following her arrest: felony counts of aggravated harassment and assaulting a public safety officer, and misdemeanor counts of resisting arrest and interfering with a peace officer.

All the charges were eventually dropped.

However, she was arrested again on June 10 following a separate incident and charged with five crimes, including robbery, assault and harassment. Mulholland pleaded guilty to assault and unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, and the remaining charges were dropped.

She was sentenced to 19 months in prison, and two years of post-prison supervision. Mulholland is currently serving her sentence at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville.

In addition to the charges against Sheppard, the case also produced an allegation that Halter, who wrote the report on the arrest, was pressured by a supervisor to alter what he originally wrote because it made Garcia look bad.

Sheppard’s attorney, DeVecchio, filed paperwork with the court asking to see the original report.

“It has come to my attention that when Officer Halter submitted this report for review, it was rejected by Sergeant Jeff Eichenbusch,” DeVecchio wrote. “Furthermore, upon rejection, Officer Halter was directed by Sergeant Eichenbusch to change his report so that it did not paint Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Noel Garcia in a ‘bad light.’ Prior to changing his report, Officer Halter obtained a copy of his unaltered report because he believed that what he was being asked to do would require him to be untruthful.”

Sheppard was hired by the Roseburg Police Department on Sept. 1, 2009. His last reported salary was nearly $87,000 a year.