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Chief had 'slush fund,' kept charity money

Photo Credit: SPOTLIGHT FILE PHOTO - Former Scappoose Police Chief Doug Greisen. Findings from an investigative report into Greisen's actions as chief claim he mishandled money and broke city budget policies.

Findings related to an investigation into former Scappoose Police Chief Doug Greisen indicate Greisen violated city accounting policies and mishandled money in several capacities.

The findings of the report, obtained by the Spotlight earlier this week following a request for records, offer sustained evidence that Greisen kept an unmonitored “slush fund” and held onto donations that were intended for charitable programs.

Allegations that Greisen abused the city’s reimbursement policy and made unauthorized purchases were also found to be true, according to the findings.

In September 2013, $2,530 cash was found in Greisen’s desk drawer, prompting the city to hire a private outside investigative agency to look into the discovery. Some of the money was cash that was supposed to have gone to the city’s Bicycle Helmet Fund and Donut Days fundraisers from several years prior.

Bank records also revealed an unauthorized Chase bank account opened and maintained by Greisen, which investigators deemed a slush fund.

While not all of the money that had passed through the unauthorized bank account has been accounted for, “there do not appear to be expenses that appear to be for anything that would be considered nefarious,” the report states.

An allegation that Greisen kept gift cards that were seized during an investigation was also found to be true. According to the report, Greisen was ordered to donate the gift cards to charity, though he never did so.

In addition to maintaining hidden money, investigators concluded Greisen violated other city policies.

“Greisen violated the city’s meal reimbursement policy by adhering to his own set of rules related to expense reimbursement and submitting reimbursement requests for meal expenses within 25 miles of Scappoose,” the report states. City policy indicates employees may only be reimbursed for reasonable meal costs that were incurred at least 25 miles outside city limits.

The report also makes mention of a television/VCR Greisen bought while attending training in Quantico, Virginia. When the city denied his request to be paid back for the purchase, Greisen “ended up using the Police Reserves funds to pay for the TV/VCR,” according to independent investigators. When asked about the purchase, Greisen said the TV was being used for department training purposes, according to the findings.

Investigations were launched into Greisen’s behavior following complaints from other police officers. Initially, the former police chief was found to have authorized another officer to execute an unsafe PIT maneuver in an attempt to catch a hit-and-run offender.

When Greisen then ordered a fitness for duty test of Doug Carpenter, the officer who launched the initial complaint, Greisen was then investigated for creating a hostile work environment and retaliating against a whistleblower. Another audit was initiated after the cash was found in his desk drawer.

Greisen was terminated from his position in April 2014.

In all, at least five allegations of local budget law violations were found to be true.

Carpenter remains on leave from the police department.