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July 13th, 2005 Angela Valdez | News Stories
 

CRUSADER FAILURE?

Prominent anti-crime activist slapped with restraining order.

     
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A prominent Portland businessman and anti-crime advocate faces a judge's restraining order on charges that he abused his wife.

Jim Jeddeloh's legal problems, which also include a 2004 arrest for drunk driving, clash with his civic persona as chair of the Citizens Crime Commission. An arm of the Portland Business Alliance, the city's influential chamber of commerce, the Crime Commission describes its mission as "advocating for businesses and mobilizing citizens to reduce crime." Jeddeloh, 53, is also president of a large local accounting firm, Perkins & Co.

In a May 5 petition for a restraining order, Lee Jeddeloh writes that her husband's frequent alcohol-fueled eruptions led to violence that made her fear for her life.

"Jim has punched me in the stomach hard, repeatedly," the statement says. "He has trapped me in the bathroom, cornered me, and said he was going to kill me, until my 10-year-old managed to come in and get his attention to stop. He has long history of daily drinking and driving and placing us in fear." Lee Jeddeloh adds she forbade the couple's two children from spending time with their father alone. She also accuses her husband of attempting to kill her son from a previous marriage nine years ago.

Multnomah County Family Court Judge Michael Loy granted the restraining order, ruling that Jeddeloh had abused his wife within the past 180 days and that he presented "an imminent danger of further abuse." The judge ordered him to move out of the couple's Southwest Hills house and barred the 6-foot-4-inch, 290-pound Jeddeloh from coming within 150 feet of his home or Ainsworth Elementary, his children's school.

After a June 29 hearing, in which Jeddeloh appeared in court to defend himself, a judge amended the order to also ban Jeddeloh from possessing firearms. In her petition, Lee Jeddeloh said that she had found a gun hidden in the garage and that her husband had applied for a concealed-weapons permit. (As a civil-court remedy, a restraining order is issued by a judge based on the preponderance of the evidence, a lower standard than reasonable doubt, which is used in criminal cases.)

The Citizens Crime Commission rallies prominent Portlanders to weigh in on public-safety issues and in favor of increased law-enforcement spending. In recent years, the commission has lobbied local and state governments to open more jail beds and tackle meth use. (Commission officers include Oregonian publisher Fred Stickel.)

Local reporters often turn to Jeddeloh when seeking quotes for stories on business and crime. He is a prominent critic of the City of Portland's business income tax and, this spring, wrote an Oregonian op-ed column urging the city to keep Portland police in the FBI terrorism task force.

Jeddeloh also sits on several nonprofit and corporate boards, including the Oregon Health & Science University Foundation and Key Bank Oregon. He and his wife often attend charity functions for causes like multiple-sclerosis research and the Oregon Symphony.

According to Lee Jeddeloh's petition for a restraining order, her husband has a history of excessive drinking. The petition references a July 2004 drunk-driving arrest and states that his blood alcohol level registered at .22, almost three times the legal limit. Washington County records do show that Tualatin police arrested Jeddeloh for drunk driving on July 23, 2004. Jeddeloh pleaded no contest and avoided a conviction by agreeing to enroll in a treatment program.

Lee Jeddeloh's petition also describes an incident at an auction at the Governor Hotel on April 15. She says she took the car keys away from her husband, who was "drinking profusely," and agreed to drive him to another party. In the car, she writes, Jeddeloh repeatedly grabbed the wheel and shouted for her to drive faster. She finally pulled over and got out of the car.

"I was scared to death with my heart feeling like it would pound right out of my chest," she writes.

Portland police acknowledge the existence of three police reports involving Jeddeloh but refuse to release the records.

Lee Jeddeloh filed for divorce in Multnomah County on the same day she received the restraining order. According to a number of sources, she is now dating Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto. As of Monday of this week, Jeddeloh still chaired the Crime Commission. A call to his office was returned by Gard & Gerber, a public-relations firm. The May restraining order listed his mailing address as the Betty Ford Clinic in Palm Desert, Calif.

 
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