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LGPI report ruled not biased and erroneous, as some city councilors claimed

Otterman Greisen Scappoose Interim City Manager Don Otterman upheld prior disciplinary action against Scappoose Police Chief Douglas Greisen for policies the chief was found to have violated in a February 2013 police pursuit, according to a press release from the city of Scappoose.

The discipline amounts to two weeks’ suspension without pay, which the chief has already served, and goes against a recommendation from a committee of Scappoose city councilors to overturn the discipline against the chief.

The initial decision to discipline Greisen for his violations was issued by former Scappoose City Manager Jon Hanken following an investigation carried out by Local Government Personnel Institute, a private investigative firm.

The LGPI report found Greisen had violated 10 departmental policies in the February pursuit by authorizing the execution of a ramming tactic to stop a fleeing misdemeanor hit-and-run offender.

Otterman’s decision is consistent with Hanken’s earlier disciplinary action against the chief, who appealed the decision. The City Council has since terminated Hanken’s employment with the city.

Greisen’s appeal resulted in the formation of a randomly selected committee of three Scappoose city councilors to determine whether Hanken’s discipline of the chief, in their judgement, complied with existing policies and law.

The committee, called the Personnel Review Committee or PRC, was made up of Councilors Barbara Hayden, Jason Meshell and Mark Reed. The PRC recommended Hanken retract all discipline issued to Greisen on the grounds that the LGPI report was “erroneous” and “not an objective review.”

Prior to upholding Hanken’s initial action and effectively going against the PRC’s recommendation, Otterman reviewed and analyzed the original LGPI report, the discipline issued to Greisen and the PRC’s advisory opinion, the press release states.

“Otterman concluded that the discipline issued is warranted by the facts and findings and has sustained the original discipline decision,” the release states. “The City now considers this disciplinary matter to be complete and final. The interim City Manager has notified Chief Greisen of his Decision.”

Greisen remains on leave pending the results of two other LGPI investigations into allegations he ran a retaliatory workplace and misspent city money.

LGPI Executive Director Diana Moffat told the Spotlight in an email the investigation into allegations Greisen misspent city money is complete and has been submitted to the city of Scappoose. A records request made by the Spotlight to obtain a copy of the latest LGPI report into those allegations has been denied by the city.

The city denied the request in a notice to the Spotlight which stated, “Because this is an ongoing disciplinary matter, the City intends to withhold this record during the pendency of the matter.”

The notice continued, “Additionally, as this is an ongoing disciplinary matter, the city must be mindful that several of its employees believe the information contained in the requested record may put them in jeopardy of retaliation. Regardless of the truth of this belief, the City cannot chill its employees’ willingness to speak openly about matters like this by prematurely disclosing the content of their statements if they believe it will put their jobs at risk.”

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