WashCo prosecutor faces investigation following hung jury trial
A Washington County deputy district attorney is under investigation by the Oregon State Bar, though the District Attorney's Office says the complaint against him is "without merit."
Andrew Freeman, a senior deputy district attorney who prosecuted a criminal case stemming from a 2020 incident in Hillsboro, is the subject of the ethics complaint. The defendant in that case filed the complaint against Freeman, the DA's Office confirmed in an email.
Clayton Callahan, an Aloha resident who faced charges of menacing and unlawful use of a weapon from the 2020 incident, filed the complaint against Freeman with the Oregon State Bar.
Callahan was caught on camera holding a knife and making an obscene hand gesture at another person who was part of a caravan of Donald Trump supporters rolling through Hillsboro in October 2020.
The accounts vary between the defendant and plaintiffs as to what happened or what led to the altercation.
Callahan fought the charges in court and they ended up being dismissed.
The case against Callahan went to trial in March 2022, though it resulted in a hung jury that was 9-to-3 in favor of a not-guilty verdict, according to court documents. Shortly thereafter, prosecutors submitted a motion to dismiss the case, which was granted by Judge Kathleen Proctor in June.
The DA's Office said it was Freeman, the subject of Callahan's complaint, who decided the criminal charges should be dismissed after the jury deadlocked.
It said Callahan's complaint against Freeman "is without merit."
"Mr. Freeman's actions were consistent with all legal and ethical rules, including the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct," the DA's Office said in a statement provided by spokesperson Stephen Mayer, adding, "It is not uncommon for a defendant in a criminal case to make a complaint regarding the assigned prosecutor."
The Oregon State Bar is investigating Callahan's claims. A spokesperson for the agency said that the first step is to conduct a screening investigation to determine if there is enough evidence of possible misconduct to trigger a more formal investigation.
Pamplin Media Group submitted a public records request to the Oregon State Bar but did not obtain the specifics of Callahan's complaint in time for this report. Therefore, it could not be confirmed what ethics violations Callahan is alleging.
The DA's Office said that Freeman is fully cooperating with the investigation and that it has "every confidence that this complaint will be dismissed, as it is without merit."
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