PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Police Commanding Officers Association has filed a complaint against Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and his communication director Michael Cox after the mayor released details about an ongoing investigation into Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman.
The PPCOA said Wheeler’s decision to release initial findings from an investigation Thursday violated administrative rules for protecting confidential information.
Marshman was placed on leave along with Lieutenant Mike Leasure in March after Marshman allegedly told Leasure to sign him into an attendance log for a training he didn’t attend.
Wheeler reinstated Marshman Thursday and released initial findings from an internal investigation that showed while Marshman did not attend the training, investigators didn’t believe he asked Leasure to sign him in.
Wheeler did not address Leasure’s status.
“At the beginning of the investigation, communication restriction orders were issued to all involved members to protect the integrity of the investigation,” said PPCOA spokesman Lt. Craig Morgan in a statement. “The Mayor’s office, however, felt it was appropriate to release Ms. Kanwit’s memo before the investigation was complete. This decision displayed a shocking disregard for the due process rights of a city employee. It also stands in direct contradiction to the statement by the Mayor’s office at the time the decision was originally made to place Chief Marshman and Lieutenant Leasure on administrative leave.”
Morgan said Wheeler’s decision to release initial findings corrupted the investigation, and “has done irreparable personal damage to Lieutenant Leasure.”
The PPCOA said it asked the mayor to issue an apology but he declined.
"We hope this complaint results in an impartial and thorough investigation of whether city rules were violated by the Portland Police Commissioner and/or his staff," Lt. Morgan told KGW.
Mayor Wheeler's spokesman said the investigation details were released so the public could be informed about such a high-profile case.
"The Mayor’s office determined that the public interest required the release of this information to ensure transparency, given that the matter being investigated involved high ranking police officials," he said.