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City of West Linn's contract with Portland towing company, where Michael Fesser worked, reportedly has 180-day termination clause

PMG FILE PHOTO - The West Linn Police Department has come under intense scrutiny over the past week for its handling of an investigation of Portland man Michael Fesser. According to a West Linn City Councilor, the city's contract with the Portland towing company that employed a man West Linn police falsely arrested in 2017 was terminated in September.

Councilor Jules Walters said on social media Feb. 20 that the contract had a 180-day termination clause, meaning the city would still rely on A&B's services through March.

In 2016, A&B Towing owner Eric Benson reportedly asked his friend, former West Linn Police Chief Terry Timeus, to investigate one of his employees, Michael Fesser, who he feared was going to file a racial discrimination lawsuit against the company. Fesser, who is black, had complained about co-workers using racial slurs and taunting him with a Confederate flag.

Timeus then asked West Linn police officers to investigate Fesser. Fesser was investigated without a warrant and arrested by West Linn and Portland police in February 2017. Fesser was fired from his job at A&B. Fesser sued both Benson and the towing company and was awarded more than $400,000. He also sued WLPD and was paid $600,000 in a settlement.

After details of the Fesser case made national headlines last week, the city of Portland decided to end its contract with A&B Towing.


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