Ex-cop union chief leaked fake Hardesty news in retaliation

PORTLAND – An internal investigation by the Portland Police Bureau has confirmed that former police union president leaked allegations against City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty in retaliation for criticizing officials.

A month-long investigation into the internal affairs of a leak by the Portland Police Bureau found that officers Brian Hunzeker, Kerri Ottoman, and Ken Le disclosed the wrong information, according to an October injunction letter to Hardesty posted Thursday by Oregon Public Broadcasting in a public inquiry Records was received. reported the news agency.

The letter, which both Hardesty and the city refused to publish, provides public confirmation of the facts behind the leak after much speculation.

The letter is a summary of the results of the internal affairs investigation on seven allegations against the officers involved. The investigation looked at whether the leaks were racially motivated and whether it was in retaliation for Hardesty’s outspoken criticism of the police.

The investigation found that Hunzeker, who was the union’s president at the time, represented ordinary officers, disclosed the untrue allegations to The Oregonian / OregonLive, and provided a reporter with a screenshot of a dispatch report claiming Hardesty was been involved in a traffic accident.

Osman has shared the same information with Gabriel Johnson, director of the Conservative Coalition to Save Portland PAC. The investigation also found that Le had passed the information on to a friend with the Bureau of Emergency Communications who works as a dispatcher.

On the same day, Hardesty was ruled as a suspect in the crash. The actual driver was a woman who lives in Vancouver, Washington, police and prosecutors said.

The internal affairs letter confirms for the first time that Hunzeker passed the information on in retaliation against Hardesty.

“Officer Hunzeker gave many reasons why he disclosed the information, and one of those factors, he admits, was in response to Commissioner Hardesty’s false claim that officers started fires during the riot,” North Precinct Commander Kristina Jones wrote.

Hardesty had said she did not believe protesters in Portland started fires in the city and that it was “a police action”. Hardesty apologized for her statements after a strong pushback.

The investigation did not find, according to the letter, that race was a motivating factor in the leaks.

It was unclear what disciplinary action, if any, Hunzeker, Osman or Le could face. The internal affairs inquiry went before the city’s police review body in October. Once the investigation is complete, this body will relay the information to the chief in consultation with Mayor Ted Wheeler, who serves as the city’s police commissioner.

Sgt. Kevin Allen, a police bureau spokesman, said the internal affairs investigation is ongoing despite the letter’s publication.

“The health report is just part of the process and the internal investigation is ongoing,” Allen told The Oregonian / OregonLive. “The boss has stated that following a disciplinary decision, due to the special circumstances of this case, he is inclined to take the unusual step of disclosing the results of the internal investigation against a city employee.”

Earlier this month, Hardesty filed a $ 5 million lawsuit against Hunzeker, Ottoman, the police union and the city.