Multnomah County Corrections Health director resigns in wake of scathing ONA letter

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The leader of Multnomah County Corrections Health has parted ways with the agency just weeks after staff members called for his departure.

Health Department Communications Coordinator Sarah Dean confirmed to KOIN 6 that Myque Obiero resigned on Monday, May 13 — effective on Tuesday.

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He joined the Corrections Health division as a nursing manager in October 2016, and was later promoted to director in June 2022.

The division has recently been riddled with controversy, with county jails seeing 10 inmate deaths since 2022. Officials said they recorded more in-custody deaths over the past two years than they did in the seven years beforehand.

More recently in late April, corrections staff with the Oregon Nurses Association sent a letter to Multnomah County leaders to demand the termination of Oberio and Nursing Supervisor Nikki Propert — who previously acted as the senior clinical manager.

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According to ONA, 97% of Corrections Health nurses cast votes of “no confidence” in their division leaders in February. About 95% of voters also said their working conditions hadn’t improved within the last four years.

“I am very concerned about these allegations and have asked to meet directly with ONA representatives several times since receiving an initial communication on April 9 that did not include the concerns outlined in today’s letter,” Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson wrote in a statement.

“So far they have declined to meet with me. We very much need ONA to follow up and come to the table to meet with us so we can understand and address their concerns,” Vega Pederson added.

She also said the nurses organization hadn’t revealed the results of its survey.

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Since Oberio’s resignation, Health Department Director Rachael Banks has appointed current Deputy Director of Operations Valdez Bravo as an interim director.

The county plans to recruit a permanent replacement.

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