Charge dropped against Hopkins

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The case against Don Hopkins has been dropped.

“We got the reports from the Sheriff’s Office, reviewed them and concluded there was insufficient evidence to proceed,” Linn County District Attorney Jason Carlile said.

Hopkins said he was “very relieved. I had proclaimed my innocence from the very beginning. It’s been a horrendous issue as far as the family is concerned. I’m glad it’s over for them – and myself.

“I also recognize sometimes you’re in a very vulnerable position just because of positions you hold.

“The issue is over and done with, and I just want to go from there.”

Hopkins was arrested by Linn County deputies on Oct 1 and charged with first-degree sodomy after a 24-year-old Corvallis man contacted police with the accusation.

The decision the district attorney must make is whether there is enough evidence to prove a case in criminal court, Carlile said. “It’s simply a decision about whether or not we could make the case in court.”

Hopkins resigned from the District 55 School Board, the Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance Board as president and the Linn-Benton-Lincoln Education Service District Board as chairman along with numerous other committee positions following the accusation.

Though he said he received calls from all three organizations, he plans to remain retired.

“I’ve told them all I plan on leaving it that way,” he said. “This is the first time in 30 years I haven’t had to get up and look at the calendar to find out what meeting I’m supposed to attend. I plan to leave it that way. It feels pretty good to not have a meeting to go to.”

Hopkins wanted to express his appreciation to all who called him and sent cards following the incident.