The leader of Oregon's prison system is stepping down at the end of the year to become president of the nonprofit Oregon Community Foundation, prompting Gov. John Kitzhaber to conduct a fast-track search for a new corrections chief.
"We are evaluating our options in terms of a national search," Kitzhaber spokesman Tim Raphael said Tuesday about finding a replacement for Max Williams, the outgoing director of the state Corrections Department.
The governor also will consider candidates from within the ranks of Oregon's 4,300-employee corrections agency, he said.
The post could be filled on a temporary basis with an interim director, or by a permanent appointment, Raphael said.
Either way, "We will definitely have somebody in place" by the time Williams departs, he said.
Williams, 48, a former three-term Republican legislator, has led the Corrections Department for almost eight years. Then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski named him to the post in 2004.