Portland Police Claims Chief Lovell Has Never Had any Disciplinary Investigation

Portland Police Claims Chief Lovell Has Never Had any Disciplinary Investigation

In June, 2019 Mayor and Portland Police Commissioner Ted Wheeler simultaneously announced the departure of Danielle Outlaw and the promotion of Jami Resch. For this quick move, he was criticized for the lack of public process.

Wheeler got his own chance to feel out of the loop when, about six months later, Jami Resch unexpetedly demoted herself in favor of Charles "Chuck" Lovell.

Each of these hirings failed to meet the minimal process Ted promised in 2017, which would have seen the public weighing in on the final candidates. We now appear to have abdicated any citizen review of the people leading our police bureau.

“When we get down to the top few of finalists, let’s say three today as a marker, I’d like to have an opportunity for the public to be able to vet the finalists" – Ted Wheeler (1/6/2017)

It's fine though, right? We have an "Independent" Police Review and an Internal Affairs department. They should have a good understanding of which officers are dangerous and which we can trust to be loyal public servants. 🙄

I checked in.

RE: Police General Records Request of June 09, 2020 Reference #S136226-060920  Dear Alan,   The City received a Public Records Request from you on June 09, 2020 for the following:   "Please provide copies of all disciplinary records for Police Chief Charles "Chuck" Lovell whether or not the matter resulted in discipline.
June 9, 2020 Request for disciplinary records of Chief Lovell

Turns out, not so much.

Chief Lovell has not received any discipline. I am attaching a memorandum of expectations which was created after you made your request.  Normally you would not be entitled to this record because public record requests can only be made for records which exist as of the date of the request.  However, without setting any precedent as to any future requests, this record is being provided to another requester and is also being provided to you.  The requested records for which the City does not claim an exemption from disclosure under ORS 192.311 to 192.478 are available online at the Portland Public Records Request Center by going to "My Public Records Request Center" - "View My Requests" - and clicking the button "View Files."

Although it's well-known that Chief Chuck Lovell choked a child in 2006, somehow the police investagatory apparatus has no record of such events. If they couldn't get this one, which actually prompted federal litgation, what else is missing?

More details on Ilias v. Johnson (3:07-cv-00513) (2007) are availalble on CourtListener.

Alan Lloyd Kessler's Picture

About Alan Lloyd Kessler

Attorney in Portland, Oregon focused on public records and civil litigation. Passionate about government transparency, abundant housing, and active transportation.

Portland, Oregon https://alankessler.law Twitter