JANUARY 8, 1998
Citizen Advisors Present: Charles Ford, Presiding; Marina Anttila; Les Frank;
Deborah Haring; Stephen Heck; Leora Mahoney; Emily Simon; Jim Taylor; Robert
Ueland; Randy Weisberg; Robert Wells
Citizen Advisors Absent: Emily Simon
City Staff Present: Capt. Bill Bennington, IAD; Lisa Botsko, PIIAC Staff;
Adrianne Brockman, Deputy City Attorney; Sgt. George Babnick, IAD; Sgt. Randy
Killinger, IAD; Leo Painton, Portland Police Assoc.; John Smith, IAD
Media Present: Dan Handelman, Flying Focus Video
[Anttila and Weisberg not yet present.]
Ford called the meeting to order. Advisors approved the December minutes They
decided to postpone elections until the February meeting.
PIIAC Appeal #97-23: Botsko summarized. The appellant, an attorney, responded
to a traffic stop after receiving a call from one of his clients. In the past,
the appellant had prevailed on behalf of this client with respect to a claim
against Officer A. Officer A was present at this same traffic stop. The
appellant called Officer A an "asshole," and the officer replied by suggesting
the appellant use Rogaine, a hair-growth treatment. The appellant filed a
complaint, alleging that Officer A violated general orders regarding
The appellant addressed the committee. He provided some background on the
history of his client and Officer A. He said that the traffic stop was
He also explained that the Bureau has no method for sanctioning officers when
financial awards are won. He has had limited success with Internal Affairs.
Wells asked the appellant if he was an officer of the court. The appellant
said he was. Wells asked if the appellant thought his own conduct was proper,
and whether professional colleagues would make the same sort of remark to a
police officer. The appellant said that the officer has the option of filing a
complaint with the Bar Association, but that his duty is to the public, not to
Heck asked the appellant to explain Capt. Bennington's statement in the
letter of disposition that the appellant was filing complaints without merit.
The appellant said that if a complaint ends up as one person's word against an
officer's, that complaint is found to be unsubstantiated. He was surprised about
Capt. Bennington's accusation, because he (the appellant) spends time talking to
clients and witnesses, so is in a different position to judge the merits of a
Capt. Bennington said that the issue is not what happened to the appellant's
client. That complaint is being handled separately. The focus is on what
occurred with the appellant. A variety of factors were taken into consideration,
including the fact that a trainee was issuing a citation, a crowd was forming,
and a potentially volatile situation developing. There is no question that the
"Rogaine" comment is rude by itself and the officer should not have said that.
But IAD decided to decline the complaint based on the appellant's own
provocative actions and credibility.
The appellant replied that the "volatile" situation consisted of two citizens
approaching the scene, then leaving at his request.
Ueland asked if the appellant intended to provoke Officer A. The appellant
said he had not wanted to shake hands with Officer A, but did so with the
Anttila made a motion to not support IAD's declination; Wells seconded.
Ueland said he would not support the motion, because Officer A's comment does
not rise to the level of discourtesy. Frank agreed, adding that the appellant is
an officer of the court and that his approach caused him to receive the response
The motion failed [Y-Anttila, Wells; N - Ford, Frank, Haring, Heck,
Ueland said that the monitoring report would be delayed one month.
Capt. Bennington said that Botsko would assist with an upcoming course
sponsored by IAD on conducting complaint investigations. Wells asked if the
advisors could audit the course; Bennington said yes.
Ford said that he would like advisors to meet for a work session, outside of
the regular meeting. He also encouraged advisors to join the monitoring
subcommittee. Ueland said that he would like continued discussion on having a
mission statement, and absenteeism.
Botsko said that the Mediation Center was reducing their case backlog with
the help of some interim managers. Capt. Bennington said he is currently not
assigning complaints for mediation until he gets the green light. Ford said he
attended the mediation steering committee meeting the previous night.
Commissioner Kafoury was asking for recommendations by February. Capt.
Bennington said that at the project's inception, the Bureau was committed to the
idea of funding, but the ability to do that depends on the financial picture.
Weisberg provided an update. An ad hoc subcommittee had met the previous
week, to discuss policy issues regarding the Chief not accepting recommended
findings on contested appeals. The consensus was to not pursue changes to city
code or union contracts; that's not something that could be accomplished
overnight. Rather, the subcommittee suggests that if the Chief does not accept a
recommended finding from City Council, he personally appear in a Council session
to explain his rationale. Weisberg said that for now, this seems to be the only
practical solution. There are philosophical issues involved; if a disturbing
pattern develops, this could be a catalyst for change.
Capt. Bennington asked to clarify that this would pertain to those
recommendations with which the Chief disagreed. Weisberg confirmed that.
Botsko said that one concern from some Bureau members was possible
confidential issues being discussed in a public forum. However, City Council has
the ability to go into Executive Session should that situation arise.
Weisberg made a motion to recommend this procedural change; Anttila seconded.
Ueland said he did not support the motion. The Chief does reply in writing.
He is concerned about officer privacy. Wells said he assumed that such a
disagreement might occur only once or twice a year at most.
The motion carried [Y-Anttila, Ford, Haring, Heck, Mahoney, Weisberg, Wells;
Ford commented on Simon's recent appearance on a television news segment. She
told the reporter that her comments represented her personal opinion, but the
end result was a perception that she was speaking on behalf of PIIAC. Simon had
apologized to Ford and promised to be careful. Ueland asked to put this topic on
the work session agenda.
Dan Handelman addressed the committee. He complimented Capt. Bennington from
refraining from using names when discussing a case.
With respect to appeal #97-24, he suggested mediation. Capt. Bennington said
this came up a month ago.
Handelman also said that if mediation is the Bureau provides financial
support for the mediation program, the public might perceive it as a
He disagreed with IAD's declination of the appeal heard earlier.
He distributed copies of suggestions from his organization, with respect to
the ad hoc subcommittee meeting. These included suggestions that the Chief be
held to timelines, that PIIAC undergo a formal quality review. He also
distributed copies of the latest People's Police Report.
Botsko said that the PIIAC committee needed a representative to the Chief's
Ford mentioned that the Overlook Restaurant donated the meatballs at last
The meeting adjourned.