Portland lawyer arrested, charged for stalking violation
Update: This story has been updated to reflect Long's indictment and other legal developments.
The already bizarre swirl of events around Portland lawyer Andrew Long just gets weirder.
Barely a week after a judge's permanent stalking order blocked Long from contacting his former legal assistant, he was arrested and indicted for violating it.
Long, 40, was seemingly wandering around his former assistant's apartment building, reportedly reeking of alcohol, when he was spotted shortly after 2p.m. Thursday. He told police he'd rented a short-term apartment there, and hadn't realized his former assistant also lives there.
"The odor of alcohol was overwhelming," said Vanessa Sturgeon, President of TMT Development, the company that owns the downtown apartment building where the former legal assistant now lives.
Sturgeon was called to the building after security staff saw the lawyer boarding an elevator and walking on multiple floors of the complex. They then called 911.
Long was arrested by Portland police at 2:36p.m. and booked into Multnomah County Detention Center downtown at 2:47p.m. He spent the night in jail, and was indicted the next day. He remains behind bars pending an evaluaton of whether he should be released before trial. Bail has been set at $100,000.
Long's arrest comes as he has faced an escalating series of problems fueled by allegations of erratic, disturbing and criminal behavior. They include his eviction, the Nov. 23 stalking order involving his legal assistant, and allegations of witness-tampering, assault, meth use and rape. He faces arrest in the state of Florida for failing to pay child support.
Last month the Oregon State Bar, which regulates lawyers, issued an unusual news release alerting the public to its formal request that the Oregon Supreme Court suspend Long's license. The Bar called him a "potential public threat" who had "weaponized his law license" and engaged in "a pattern of abhorrent behavior towards women."
Long has denied all the allegations, predicting in a Nov. 24 email to the Portland Tribune that he will eventually be vindicated. He claims that he is the victim of a conspiracy stemming from a bitter divorce and custody dispute with his wife.
According to an affidavit filed in connection with his indictment, Long indicated to police that he did not mean to violate the stalking order, that he had unwittingly booked a short-term rental in the same building as his former assistant.
That would be quite the coincidence, since she testified on Nov. 22 that the reason she had moved was to get away from Long. The two previously both lived in a different Portland apartment building that is also owned by TMT — the same company that evicted Long over evidence that he had struck another woman in the face and neck.
Moreover, the affidavit signed by Deputy District Attorney Sean Hughey, cites evidence indicating that Long thought he knew where the former assistant had moved to get away from him. Indeed, he disclosed that to two TMT employees, one in a conversation, the other in an email.
Beth Creighton, the former assistant's lawyer, testified Friday in favor of keeping Long behind bars, saying her client for the first time could walk around freely without fear of running into Long.
"My client intends to fully cooperate with authorities to bring him to justice," Creighton told the Tribune.
A year of troubles
Long's troubles with the Bar began last year, with allegations that he mishandled cases and client funds, and showed up drunk to court.
Long also settled a retaliation suit filed by another former employee; she said he "requested sexual favors" and punished her by withholding wages after she said no.
In September, the owner of his Southwest Ninth Avenue building filed to evict him from his $1,175-a-month apartment. The move came after his friend, with whom he'd had a prior sexual relationship, was found outside his door crying, saying she was hit "in the face and neck" by Long.
Long denied it, and challenged the eviction in court. He lost, and filed an appeal that allowed him to stay in his apartment.
During the case, the building owner's lawyer filed as exhibits thousands of text messages and emails that Long, 40, exchanged with the friend he allegedly hit, as well as with the 25-year-old former legal assistant.
The legal assistant had quit working for him in August, sparking threatening texts and emails referring to blood, violence, and suggesting homicidal or suicidal impulses. Some of those threats appeared intended to influence his former assistant's potential testimony in the eviction case as well as in his custody case.
In court, Long downplayed his threats as stemming from habitual use of "hyperbolic" language and "vivid" imagery.
However, the list of allegations against Long grew as one witness in the stalking hearing, a Portlander who works for the federal government downtown, accused the lawyer of raping her last year on a date, after meeting on Tinder. He'd offered to represent her in a dispute about mold in her house.
Long denied raping the woman, and also denied allegations in the Bar action against him that he engaged in methamphetamine use and binge drinking in the office.
The opposing lawyer, Creighton, in court called Long a "clearly unstable and deeply disturbed man."
Many legal fronts
The jailing of Long comes as he continues to wage war with TMT over the apartment the company has tried to evict him from.
Sturgeon has said the company pursued the eviction despite the cost to protect the safety of its tenants, including his former assistant.
In court filings, Long has accused the property company of failing to promptly repair his toilet, while the company said it has had to respond to major damage caused by Long, citing the discovery of lighters and other items when plumbers snaked his drains, as well as damage to the toilet and Long's bathtub.
In light of the damage, the company has asked Long to post a $78,000 bond, including $50,000 to help fund additional security measures, calling his continued presence "an ongoing risk to the safety and security" of tenants.
On top of that, Long, if his eviction appeal does not succeed, could owe TMT as much as $73,327.50 in legal fees that it says it incurred in the eviction case.
On Monday, a hearing will be held in Florida in his divorce case, regarding his wife's effort to block him from visiting their three children there over the holidays. Long will have to appear at the hearing telephonically, from jail.
Meanwhile, he has asked the Oregon Supreme Court to delay ruling on the Bar's petition that he be immediately suspended.
The Bar is opposing any delay, saying that the testimony at his stalking hearing that he raped a potential client shows that "Long's immediate suspension is even more urgent."