PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) �?Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea has been put on paid-administrative leave pending a criminal investigation into a shooting he was involved in while off-duty and on vacation.
The decision to put O’Dea on paid-administrative leave was made Tuesday by Portland Mayor and Police Commissioner Charlie Hales.
In a statement released last week, O’Dea admitted that while he was on a hunting trip in Harney County, he had a negligent discharge from his .22 caliber rifle.In a statement, Hales said:“We need our Police Bureau operating at its best, and our officers can’t do that when there’s turmoil and confusion surrounding their leader. Chief O’Dea has been providing excellent service as our police chief, and now needs to focus on these investigations. He and I agree that going on administrative leave during these open investigations is in the best interest of the Bureau and the city.“I am awaiting the outcome of internal and external investigations before commenting about the incident, and urge all Portlanders to do the same.�?/em>
PPB union leader Daryl Turner issued this statement after O’Dea was placed on leave:
Assistant Chief of Police Donna Henderson was named to replace O’Dea during the investigation. She’s been with PPB since 1988, became detective in 1993, was promoted to lieutenant in 1998. In 2001, she became commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team and was promoted to captain. Four years later, she was elevated to commander and became the bureau’s assistant chief in 2013.
She released a statement to officers on Tuesday, after her appointment.“My pledge to you during this time is to communicate with you as we move forward. Headlines aside, we have a lot on our plate as an agency, including critical staffing issues, the ongoing (Department of Justice) DOJ-related items, budgetary issues and of course, we are headed into Rose Festival and a busy summer. I know you will continue to work hard and serve this city to the best of your ability. You have my support and commitment to do my best as your Acting Chief.” The incident in question
A 54-year-old man was wounded on April 21, according to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office.
Neither the police bureau, nor the city, publicly acknowledged the incident until May 20 �?when the Willamette Week first published an article about the incident.
Since then, more questions have come up regarding the incident and the way it was handled by the mayor and chief.Here’s a timeline of what’s happened:
April 21 �?Shooting occurred; reported to Harney County Sheriff’s Office
April 22 �?Harney County Sheriff briefed of the shooting
April 25 �?Portland Mayor/Police Commissioner Charlie Hales notified personally by O’Dea of the incident.
May 16 �?Harney County Sheriff’s notified the shooting involved O’Dea
May 16 �?Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward requests OSP to investigate
May 20 �?Willamette Week publishes story about the shooting involving O’Dea
May 23 �?Harney Co. Sheriff Dave Ward announces his original briefing described the situation as a self-inflicted, accidental shooting, but that “further information was gathered which contradicted this.�?
At the request of Harney County Sheriff Dave Ward, Oregon State Police opened an investigation into the incident. The investigation was then taken over by the Oregon Department of Justice. The scope of the investigation is unclear.
On Tuesday, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum declined to comment.
It remains unknown if O’Dea has sought legal representation.