ADA COUNTY, Idaho — In a 2-1 vote on Friday, current Eagle Police Chief Matt Clifford was appointed by Ada County Commissioners to be the new Ada County Sheriff.
Chairman Rod Beck and Commissioner Kendra Kenyon voted in favor of appointing Clifford to the position, while Commissioner Ryan Davidson voted against his appointment.
"This decision for me, and I'm just talking about myself, not the county commission but for me, it's a decision of conscious," Beck said. "I am making a decision of conscious without respect of party or anything else."
Kenyon said 99% of the Ada County Sheriff's Office employees, all five mayors in Ada County and 59% of the public that weighed in endorsed Clifford for the position.
"One of the things that I look at as a public elected official, public officer, is my duty is to listen and is to represent all of you," she said. "If I went against the majority of what the folks wanted out there, I better have a darn good reason to do that."
Davidson did not comment on why he voted against Clifford and did not say who he wanted to appoint instead.
Clifford, the current chief of the Eagle Police Department, is currently part of the Ada County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), as Eagle contracts with ACSO for law enforcement services. He has worked for the office in different capacities since 2000.
Clifford told KTVB in an interview early this week that his resume and experience make him the ideal candidate for the opening. He believes experience is key, but also said fresh eyes can be valuable to a department.
"I would not worry about any change in services because really, for the agency, it's not that sudden of a change," Clifford said following his appointment. "I've been with the agency for 21 years, I've had a lot of leadership roles within the agency. They know who I am and they know what I'm about and the sheriff's office functions very well and gives great service to the public and we're just going to continue to do that. So the public should have no fear of any change."
Meridian Mayor Robert Simison issued the following statement on Clifford's appointment:
I applaud the decision of Chairman Rod Beck and Commissioner Kendra Kenyon for selecting Lieutenant Matt Clifford as our next Ada County Sheriff. They made the right choice as Lieutenant Clifford not only has the knowledge, skills, and abilities, but he has instilled trust and demonstrated leadership for the citizens through this process.
Public Safety is paramount for Meridian to maintain our safe and thriving community.
Chief Basterrechea and I look forward to working closely with our new Sheriff to ensure the health and safety of Meridian and all of Ada County.
Eagle Mayor Jason Pierce released the following statement:
I wholeheartedly endorse the Ada County Commissioners appointment of Eagle Police Chief Matt Clifford to the role of Sheriff. In my time working with Matt, he has proven to be a knowledgable, capable, and professional Police Chief for the City.
We will miss him here in Eagle, but I know he will excel as Ada County Sheriff. I look forward to working with him in his new role.
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