Multnomah County Prosecutor Takes ICE Job: A Multnomah County deputy district attorney left his job last month to start a new gig as a lawyer for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Chris Wyrostek, who worked as a prosecutor since March 2015, publicly listed his new job title at ICE as "assistant chief counsel" on his LinkedIn page. The profile disappeared after WW started asking questions about his career change, but he's still there. The move came just days after WW published emails revealing communication between Multnomah County prosecutors and ICE agents ("Deep Freeze," WW, June 6, 2018). Wyrostek's last day with the DA was June 15. He worked in the misdemeanor trial and Gresham misdemeanor units. In his parting message to co-workers, Wyrostek assured other prosecutors he would not email them from his new ICE address "so you don't end up in the Willamette Week after another fishing expedition."
School District Changes Rules After Probe: Nine months after completing an investigation of former interim superintendent Yousef Awwad, Portland Public Schools released findings that cleared him of violating district policy by dating an indirect subordinate, then approving her promotion. WW broke the story of the investigation last year. Records released this week show that PPS spent $54,000 on the investigation and related legal costs. On May 22, the School Board approved a policy change that prohibits PPS officials from doing what Awwad did—involving themselves in any decision to promote or give a raise to someone they're dating. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing Oct. 2, Awwad was nonetheless fired in November by new Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero. Records show Awwad has threatened to sue.
Drama in Bend House Race Continues: The battle for House District 52—the seat vacated by state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend)—was Democrats' best hope to pick up the 36th seat they need for a super-majority. But as WW first reported June 25, the Democratic House campaign committee, FuturePac, withdrew support from Dem nominee Dr. Nathan Boddie amid allegations of sexist behavior and a homophobic slur. Boddie continues to deny wrongdoing. But a Bend woman told Oregon Public Broadcasting this week that in 2012, Boddie stuck his hand down her pants in a bar. Gov. Kate Brown has joined the chorus of calls for Boddie to quit. In an email to members, Oregon League of Conservation Voters chief Doug Moore explained Democrats' dilemma: "Walking away from your No. 1 priority campaign—as well as someone who has been a strong environmental champion—is incredibly hard," Brown said. "But in this situation, it is the right thing to do."
Mobile Home Parks to Get New Zoning: The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission has moved forward with a zoning change that would protect 56 city mobile home parks from redevelopment. As WW first reported, the change would require park owners to obtain city approval to redevelop their land—potentially preserving more than 3,000 units of housing (The Big Number, WW, May 16, 2018). "It needs to be preserved not only because it's affordable but because it fosters a sense of community," says Cameron Herrington, of Living Cully, who has advocated for the change. The City Council must now vote on the change.