PPA president connected to Hardesty leak; resigns

Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The President of the Portland Police Association has resigned effective immediately after it was discovered that he was connected to the leak of a police report that accused Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty of a hit-and-run.

“Over the last 24 hours, we learned that Portland Police Association (PPA) President Brian Hunzeker made a serious, isolated mistake related to the Police Bureau’s investigation into the alleged hit-and-run by Commissioner Hardesty. We apologize to Commissioner Hardesty for that mistake and will be reaching out to meet with her personally,” a statement from PPA said.

Earlier this month, a group called Coalition to Save Portland was the first to report the accusation against Hardesty on a Facebook Live, saying a law enforcement official had leaked the police report to them. The police report said a hit-run victim named Hardesty as the driver of the other car.

KOIN 6 News asked Coalition to Save Portland founder Gabriel Johnson if Hunzeker was the person who gave him the police report. Johnson’s email reply: “I can confirm he ‘DID NOT’ !”

Hardesty was cleared as a suspect by Portland Police later in the day. Portland Police say they have an internal investigation underway.

“There have long been suspicions within the community that there are city employees that have leaked info that ends up in the hands of far right wing media personalities…” she tweeted.

Following the PPA’s announcement on Tuesday, Hardesty shared the following statement:

“I am just learning about this story after a council budget work session though [sic] the media reports coming out after PPA sent an email out announcing the resignation of their President. At the moment, I know nothing more than any member of the public does. I do know that Mayor Wheeler and I agreed that the scope of the impending outside investigation into the Portland Police Bureau will not only get to the bottom of this specific politically motived leak, but will also look into potential political and racial bias, as well as potential ties to white supremacists within the Portland Police Bureau.”

Mayor Wheeler also called for an investigation into the matter.

PPA said Daryl Turner has agreed to return to the PPA in the interim as Executive Director. The Portland Police Bureau said Hunzeker remains an employee of the bureau and will receive a new assignment.

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