West Linn police chief on paid leave; another investigation launched
A second police chief has been swept up into the West Linn scandal over a wrongful arrest and discrimination allegations against the police.
West Linn Interim City Manager John Williams on Wednesday, April 8, announced that Police Chief Terry Kruger had been placed on administrative leave, and that the West Linn City Council has voted 5-0 to hire an outside firm to investigate how the city handled Portland resident Michael Fesser's arrest and discrimination allegations.
The outside investigator will be tasked with analyzing how the West Linn City Council, the then-city manager, city attorney, and other staff received information on Fesser's arrest and suit against the city, as well as how the Police Department responded to the claim.
As reported by the West Linn Tidings, and its sister publication The Portland Tribune, allegations against former Chief Terry Timeus date back almost a decade. The allegations include drunken driving, having sex with an informant and fostering a racist work place at the police department. A 100-page report, prepared confidentially in 2008, details numerous instances of inappropriate behavior and other serious allegations made against Timeus.
Timeus left the department in 2017 after he faced allegations of drunken driving. He received a payout of $123,394.
Kruger retired as a Portland police lieutenant in April 2016 and was hired as West Linn's police chief in June 2018, replacing Timeus and an acting chief.
The scope of the newly announced investigation is not intended to overlap with investigations underway by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Clackamas County District Attorney into potential criminal or civil rights charges in the Fesser case.
"In order to further ensure a complete, fair and impartial investigation, Interim City Manager John Williams has placed Police Chief Terry Kruger on paid administrative leave for the duration of the investigation," according to a press release issued Wednesday by the city. "Administrative leave ensures that all parties have the opportunity to clearly and completely answer questions and explain their actions. It is not a determination of wrongdoing on the part of Chief Kruger or anyone else. Any such determination can only be made after the investigation is complete."
A timeframe for the investigation has not been set.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.