Tough on crime or easy on cops?
The voters have an important decision to make on May 17. Marion County District Attorney Paige Clarkson is up for re-election. She is trying to make a name for herself as a law-and-order candidate. But her law-and-order credentials go out the window when it comes to enforcing domestic violence laws.
Early this year, Clarkson received a police conflict-of-interest case from Clackamas County DA John Wentworth, who isn't trusted on police matters, so he hands the cases off to sympathetic prosecutors. The case involved Sgt. Micah Hibpshman, a member of the Clackamas County Sheriffs Office. Hibpshman was accused of strangling his wife, putting a gun to her head, and threatening to kill her if she left him.
In her infinite wisdom, Clarkson dismissed the case on the grounds that there wasn't cooperation from the witness. Apparently, it didn't matter that there was evidence from the crime scene or that automatic prosecution is the gold standard when domestic violence is involved. Remember, Hibpshman threatened to kill his wife if she left him. Are you telling me he couldn't have threatened to kill his wife if he cooperated with Marion County? He already has a history, it's not a stretch to suppose that he could still be issuing threats.
Clarkson is married to a cop. At no time should someone married to a cop be investigating police malfeasance. Did she communicate this conflict of interest to Clackamas County? Or did they not really care? Probably the latter.
Don't be fooled, Clarkson is tough on crime when the individual is black, brown, or destitute. But she's a soft on crime enabler when it comes to enforcing the law against cops. And to add a cherry on top, Wentworth endorsed Clarkson after she cleared his cop. Talk about dirty politics.
I advocate turning Wentworth out of office in Clackamas County. I hope the residents of Marion County will do the same to Clarkson. No woman or survivor of domestic violence is safe if Paige Clarkson is enforcing the law.
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