Hardesty’s PPB comments draw calls for city investigation

2020 Protests

Request filed with Portland City Council, City Auditor

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The president of the Portland Police Association has called for an investigation into Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s recent public statements that PPB officers started fires during protests in order to justify attacking.

In a statement Daryl Turner said Hardesty’s “disregard for her oath of office is troubling; several of her statements not only absolve individuals of felonious conduct, her statements also had the potential, if not the effect, of promoting violence against the police.”

On Tuesday Turner submitted a request for investigation to the Portland City Council and the City Auditor. He said all of her statements were false and easily disproven.

“If her statements were made with the knowledge that they were false, they violated her oath of office that she perform her duties ‘honestly,'” he said. “If her false statements were made without knowledge of whether they were false, they were a breach of her obligation to perform her duties ‘faithfully’ and ‘ethically.'”

Turner declined a request for comment from KOIN 6 News citing a busy schedule overseeing construction on the PPA building that was damaged in an arson nearly 2 weeks ago.

Read the entire letter from Daryl Turner at the bottom of this article

Last Thursday, Hardesty said on the record at the City Council meeting that Turner “continues to lie to the public on a daily basis about the lack of cooperation of Portland Police personnel” with federal officers.

“It just makes me crazy,” she said, “when I see people who were sworn to protect and serve continuing to lie to the public.”

At a press conference later that day, Hardesty said ” “Sometimes I screw up” and that she “made some remarks that were out of the context that I would like to have put them in.”

In recent weeks Hardesty has made a public push for Mayor Ted Wheeler to turn over the oversight of the PPB to her. Wheeler declined and said he will remain police commissioner for the foreseeable future.

Council to discuss Portland police oversight

On Wednesday the Portland City Council will consider letting voters set up an independent commission to oversee misconduct investigations of the Portland police officers. Portland’s civilian oversight office has been beefed up several times since the first one was formed in 1982.

Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty speaks to protestors during a candlelight vigil to support Portlanders’ rights to free speech and assembly at the Multnomah County Justice Center on July 17, 2020 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Mason Trinca/Getty Images)

If approved, the measure advanced by Hardesty would set up a commission of undetermined size, give it broad powers to investigate complaints, compel testimony by officers and impose discipline.

Portland’s elected auditor, Mary Hull Caballero, oversees the city’s current system.

Caballero held her first-ever news conference Tuesday afternoon where she slammed Hardesty’s proposal.

“That’s a bold request given she wants Council to refer an unvetted, unrefined oversight model to the ballot as a charter amendment,” Caballero said. “It’s breathtaking, actually, and not in a good way.”

The newly formed Civilian Oversight Commission would have broad powers and would be funded by 5% of the PPB budget. Hull claims that is more than $11 million — more than 3 times more expensive than the city’s existing police oversight system.

The Portland Tribune contributed to this report.

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