What we know about Eagle Police Chief, two former sheriff’s office employees up for Ada Co. Sheriff


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Ada County Commissioners will select from three potential Sheriff candidates next week after a round of public interviews. 

On Thursday, the Ada County Republican Committee put forward three candidates to lead the law enforcement agency and management of the Ada County Jail. The candidates are:

  • Mike Chilton, a former Sheriff’s Office employee, and coroner candidate
  • Matt Clifford, a lieutenant with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office and Eagle’s police chief
  • Doug Traubel, a former employee of the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office.

[Ada County scraps funding plan for jail expansion]

The candidate who is selected will serve for a year and have to run for election in 2022 before running again for a full four-year term in 2024 if they choose to continue. Interviews are tentatively scheduled with the commissioners for June 30. 

One of the men will replace former Sheriff Steve Bartlett, who resigned suddenly on Memorial Day.

What do we know about the candidates?

Mike Chilton

Chilton worked for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 to 2010, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Patrick Orr. He ran against coroner Dotti Owens, a Democrat, in 2014. Boise Police Chief Mike Masterson and Republican former Ada County Sheriff Gary Raney endorsed Owens over Chilton during that race. 

Raney publicly raised concerns about Chilton before he won the Republican primary and during the campaign, saying he “misrepresented” his professional experience at the Sheriff’s Office. According to an article from the Idaho Statesman archive, Raney said he was not qualified for the job because he had never investigated a death scene or supervised personnel at a death scene. 

Chilton was endorsed by Governor Butch Otter and Congressman Raul Labrador in this race. He holds an MBA, is a teacher and business owner, according to the Statesman’s coverage of the race.

Matt Clifford

According to a release from the City of Eagle, Clifford started working for the county in 2000 when he started as a jail deputy. Former Sheriff Bartlett selected him to lead Eagle’s police department through the city’s contract with the sheriff’s office in July 2019. 

Clifford worked as a patrol deputy, patrol sergeant, supervisor of the county’s K9 unit, and on the inmate transport team, according to the sheriff’s office.

Doug Traubel

Traubel worked for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 through 2003 before he transferred to the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office to work as an investigator. Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Emily Lowe said he left the office in March, 2019. Prior to working in Idaho, he was a police officer for the Chula Vista Police Department for roughly 8 years, according to his Linked In profile. 

He wrote several letters to the editor in the Idaho Statesman over the years on a range of topics.

“It took only two generations for the left to brainwash us and deliver a new majority with no objection to replacing America with a Marxist tyranny run by Godless bureaucratic elites,” he wrote in a letter to the editor printed on Oct. 25, 2017, according to the Boise Public Library database. “The diversity movement is the strategy that brought about America’s cultural revolution. Using propaganda that would be the envy of North Korea, the left promotes the big lie about the character of America.”

Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel - BoiseDev Sr. Reporter
Margaret Carmel is a BoiseDev reporter focused on the City of Boise, housing, homelessness and growth. Contact her at [email protected] or by phone at (757)705-8066.

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