3 nominees chosen for vacant Ada County Sheriff position, including a local police chief

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The Ada County Republicans have selected three nominees for the vacant Ada County Sheriff position.

Mike Chilton, Matt Clifford and Doug Traubel were chosen from a pool of six applicants during an Ada County Republican Central Committee meeting Thursday night, according to a Facebook post by the Ada County Republicans.

The nominees now go to the Ada County commissioners for consideration.

Stephen Bartlett abruptly resigned as Ada County Sheriff in late May, and Chief Deputy Scott Johnson is serving as acting sheriff.

Bartlett had been Ada’s sheriff since 2015, when he was appointed by commissioners following the retirement of former Sheriff Gary Raney. Bartlett, who won re-election in 2020, did not specify a reason for his departure, other than his need to “attend to a couple personal items.”

The board will have 15 days to make a selection once the names are officially submitted to the board of commissioners. Included in that timeline are interviews with the candidates, which are tentatively scheduled for June 30. It takes at least two commissioners for a selection to be made.

“We are committed to selecting a person with strong law enforcement credentials who will lead Idaho’s largest local law enforcement agency with integrity and professionalism,” Ada County Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said in a news release.

Clifford is the police chief in Eagle through a partnership with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office. He is a lieutenant with the Sheriff’s Office.

Clifford was sworn in as Eagle police chief on July 10, 2019. He started his career with the Ada County Sheriff’s Office in 2000. He grew up in North Idaho but was born in a Spokane hospital, which is why he has been listed as a Spokane native in the past. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Boise State University.

After working at the jail for about three years, Clifford transferred to the patrol division. He worked as a K-9 handler and supervisor, and a patrol training officer. He was promoted to sergeant in 2012 and lieutenant in 2019, according to previous Idaho Statesman reporting. Clifford has also served on the Idaho Police Canine Association Board.

Chilton worked for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 to 2010. He unsuccessfully ran for Ada County coroner in 2014. He is a law enforcement instructor at Renaissance High School in Meridian.

Traubel worked for the Ada County Sheriff’s Office from 1994 to 2003 and was an investigator at the Ada County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office from Jan. 27, 2003, until March 1, 2019.

Editor’s note: This story was updated with more detail about where Clifford was born and raised.

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