West Linn fires police chief after eight-month paid leave
After eight months on paid administrative leave, West Linn Police Chief Terry Kruger's employment has ended with the city, West Linn announced in a news release Friday, Dec. 4.
According to the release, Capt. Peter Mahuna, who has served as acting chief since April, will continue to lead in the interim while the city searches for a new leader for the department.
"I believe that new leadership within the West Linn Police Department will help the community move forward," said City Manager Jerry Gabrielatos in the news release. "This is a step toward restoring confidence in the West Linn Police Department."
Kruger, who joined the department in 2018, was placed on administrative leave in April when the city announced the hiring of an independent firm to investigate its handling of the Michael Fesser case.
That firm, the OIR group, recently ended its investigation and submitted a report to the city, though the findings have not been made public.
Kruger and other city officials came under fire this year following revelations in the case of Fesser, a Black man from Portland who was targeted in a racially motivated arrest by WLPD in 2017.
West Linn resident Abby Farber said she was pleased to hear of Kruger's departure from the city.
"I'm pleased to see justice continue to be done," said Farber, who co-founded the group Concerned Citizens of West Linn earlier this year to address racism at WLPD. "I wish he had been let go sooner. I'm not pleased that he seems to be getting a three-month severance on top of what he has already been paid, and the city still has a lot of work to do in terms of reforming the police department."
According to the city's statement, Kruger will be paid three months' salary as part of the separation agreement. The city already has paid Kruger $143,600 in salary and benefits during his leave.
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