Police Internal Investigations
Auditing Committee (PIIAC)
City of Portland
JUNE 12, 1997
CITIZEN ADVISORS MEETING MINUTES
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Marina Anttila; David
Burney, Less Frank, Deborah Haring, Stephen Heck, Shanisse Howard, Emily Simon,
Jim Taylor, Robert Ueland, Randy Weisberg, Robert Wells
Citizen Advisors Absent: None
City Staff Present: Sgt. Jeff Barker, IAD; Lisa Botsko, PIIAC Staff; Adrianne
Brockman, Deputy City Attorney; Capt. Greg Clark, Detectives' Division; Capt.
C.W. Jensen, IAD; Sgt. Randy Killinger, IAD; Officer Leo Painton, Portland
Police Association; Assistant Chief Dave Williams
Media Present: Dan Handelman, Flying Focus Video
Ford called the meeting to order. With no amendments, the May meeting minutes
Ford introduced new advisors Jim Taylor, appointed by Mayor Katz, and Less
Frank, appointed by Southeast Uplift.
PIIAC Appeal #96-18: Weisberg summarized. Advisors originally heard this
appeal in November. Officer A and the appellant had several encounters because
of the appellant's boys making noise, setting off firecrackers, etc. The
appellant filed a complaint following an incident when he was out-of-town and
his former wife, the boys' mother, was babysitting. The boys made
too much noise in the middle of the night and Officer A summoned a uniformed
officer. That officer admonished the boys and mother, and evidently no further
problems developed that evening. However, Officer A went into work the next day
and wrote an informational report, recommending the Children's Services Division
PPB did not investigate but decided that on the face, the complaint had no
merit and should be unfounded. At the first hearing, Weisberg thought the
officer's actions violated PPB General Orders because of his personal
involvement in the matter. Advisors had voted to send the case back for formal
investigation, which was done. The finding rendered was again "unfounded." The
finding of "Insufficient Evidence" regarding previous incidences was
supportable, but with respect to the information report, Weisberg's opinion had
Capt. Clark addressed the panel to explain his finding. He said that officers
are constantly told to document things and are criticized when they do not. It
is a frequent occurrence for officers to make such referrals, and in fact,
Officer B (the uniformed officer who responded to the call) told IAD that had he
been summoned a second time for the same violation, he would have made a similar
referral. Officer A's report also reflected a long-term knowledge of problems
with the appellant's boys.
Advisors discussed the case and asked several questions of Capt. Clark. One
PPB General Order states that officers will not make arrests or issue citations
in personal quarrels; some advisors felt that the spirit of the G.O. was
violated when the officer wrote the report. Bob Ueland said that the G.O. did
not specify officers could not write reports in personal quarrels and he was
reluctant to apply it based on the "spirit" or intent. Weisberg commented that a
G.O. says officers will not use their position to intimidate or coerce others.
Officer A's previous threats to his neighbor (the appellant) that he would turn
the boys in to CSD was an aggravating factor. Advisors also commented that
Officer A, in his IAD interview, had appeared unfamiliar with the actual
statutes governing child neglect and failure-to-supervise. The boys were too old
to be subject to the statutes.
Weisberg moved to send the case to the full PIIAC, advising that the evidence
did not support the finding, and that PIIAC should inform the Chief in writing
that the finding should in fact be sustained. Anttila seconded.
Advisors discussed the motion further.
Simon said that she believed Officer A's actions were punitive and he clearly
overstepped his bounds. The impact of his report on the appellant should be
weighed in assessing the complaint. She did not believe further action should be
taken with respect to Officer B's conversation with the appellant's ex-wife. She
also emphasized, as a monitoring issue, the impropriety of how Capt. Jensen's
original case assignment (for investigation) was overruled by Capt. Clark and
Assistant Chief Williams.
Heck said he reluctantly supported the motion. The issue for him was the
appearance of impropriety. Officers must be aware of the impacts of their
Botsko said that while she agreed with Capt. Clark that the need for
documentation is constantly reinforced -- however, with respect to official
police actions. What officers do off-duty, as private citizens, does not fall
under the same scrutiny. Had Officer A simply written an explanatory report of
why he called police, that would not be so problematical, but making the
referral to CSD changed the tenor and impact of the situation. She also
disagreed that Officer A was documentating a chronic lack of supervision. His
report concentrated only on the noise issue and he provided no supporting detail
of past incidences.
Taylor said officers' off-duty conduct is important. He believed the General
Order pertaining to misuse of authority was relevant. The officer was right to
call police, he retained his rights to do so as a citizen. But it should not
have gone any further.
Ford was concerned about sending the matter to Council. He expected Officer A
had since "gotten the message" and he thought advisors should be satisfied with
The motion was put to a vote and carried. [Y-9 (Anttila, Burney, Haring,
Heck, Howard, Simon, Weisberg, Wells); N-3 (Ford, Frank, Ueland)].
PIIAC Appeal #97-06: Botsko summarized. The appellant complained about an
officer's testimony pertaining to a traffic citation in 1994. IAD declined to
investigate based on the length of time that had passed, but also because the
judicial system is the proper forum for a citizen to try to impeach an officer's
The appellant addressed the panel. He said he was not trying to
adjudicate the traffic ticket, only "set the record straight" because the
officer testified erroneously. She was also rude to him. He did not file a
complaint until recently because his job takes him out of the country a lot, but
also he had not been aware of the complaint investigation process.
Capt. Jensen said that IAD cannot possibly investigate discourtesy
allegations after so much time has passed.
Simon asked if there had been a trial. Capt. Jensen said yes. Simon told the
appellant that advisors historically do not accept appeals asking that IAD
investigate what an officer has testified to.
Simon moved to support IAD's declination; Heck seconded. The motion carried
PIIAC #97-10: Haring summarized. The appellant, a mall security guard,
warned a customer about her habit of speeding through the parking lot. She then
complained to 911 that she was being harassed. Officer A spoke to the appellant
and other mall merchants, but took no further action. The appellant's complaint
was that the officer conducted his inquiry in such a manner as to discredit the
appellant. After some inquiry, IAD declined the complaint.
Haring said she had questions about why Officer A brought up an unrelated
incident from 1989 in which the appellant had been involved. She also wondered
why Officer A did not conduct his inquiry with the appellant's supervisor. The
appellant confirmed that he had performance appraisals; he said he had been in
his position for 10 years.
Simon questioned the propriety of declining a complaint after some inquiry
had been done. She asked Capt. Jensen what other investigation might be done.
Capt. Jensen said he had not formally interviewed the officer. On the face of
the complaint, he thought Officer A had just been doing his job. Weisberg said
that advisors discussed declinations before. The definition for "declination" is
that the complaint is fallacious, fictitious. If IAD half-investigates, then
they need to have a finding made.
[Weisberg left the meeting.]
The appellant addressed the committee and reiterated certain aspects of his
complaint. He thought Officer A's investigation was frivolous.
Botsko said that the preliminary IAD interviews should not have been done in
a casual, undocumented manner. They should have been treated as any other
interview. Also, the inquiry that had been done still left some loose ends
pertaining to officer courtesy issues. Capt. Jensen said he was more comfortable
having his investigator "make a couple calls" in the interest of timeliness.
Haring moved to have IAD conduct further review. Wells seconded. The motion
failed [Y-Anttila, Haring, Wells; N- Burney, Ford, Frank, Heck, Howard, Simon,
Ueland moved to support IAD's declination. Taylor seconded. The motion
carried. [Y-Burney, Ford, Frank, Heck, Howard, Simon, Taylor, Ueland, Wells;
N-Anttila, Haring; Abstain-Simon].
Botsko said that due to office reorganization and budget cuts, she would have
additional responsibilities in the Mayor's office that would reduce the amount
of time she could devote to PIIAC. Advisors were concerned about this and said
having staff assistance is important to PIIAC. Botsko said she could use some
additional advisors to help with monitoring, but she did not intend to let the
Ford thanked Capt. Jensen for his work in IAD.
Botsko annnounced that a representative was needed for the Chief's Forum.
Dan Handelman said he heard Capt. Jensen and Emily Simon on KBOO Radio. He
would discuss the show at another time.
He appreciated advisors' returning PIIAC Appeal #96-18 and believed the
officer abused his power. On Appeal #97-09, the advisor's summary was
inadequate. He was also confused about Appeal #97-10.
The meeting adjourned.