March 11th, 2010 5:33 pm | by JAMES PITKIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Cops and Courts

Assistant Chief Brian Martinek Caught on Film Illegally Parked (and that's not his biggest problem)

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When we reported last fall about the big rift between Chief Rosie Sizer and her rank-and-file officers, we also mentioned that possibly the only person more unpopular within the police bureau is Assistant Chief Brian Martinek.

Sizer hired Martinek in 2006 to head up the bureau's operations branch. But in his three-plus years in Portland, Martinek has developed the same reputation among cops here that he had in his last job as Vancouver police chief. Cops in both cities tell WW that they view Martinek as an autocratic and retaliatory leader who harbors double standards in the way he treats his officers.

After WW reported last month that Police Commissioner Dan Saltzman said in an interview Sizer is retiring this year (then tried to backpedal when Sizer became angry with him), cops are more worried than ever that Martinek will be the next chief. Especially since Saltzman said he plans on hiring Sizer's replacement this year from inside the bureau.

And that explains why a police source has supplied WW with a picture of Martinek's police cruiser parked illegally last month outside City Hall.

But more than risking a parking ticket, Martinek's larger problem in the police bureau is that he's so deeply unpopular, cops are willing to take photos of his parking infractions and leak them to the media.

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Martinek was in City Hall for more than two hours that night, Feb. 17, to attend a hearing by the Independent Police Review Division's Citizen Review Committee.

But the spot where Martinek parked is clearly marked as off-limits for government vehicles. Even if Martinek missed that sign, the spot is for five-minute parking only, and the driver must stay behind the wheel.

Sgt. Greg Stewart, a police spokesman, says Martinek didn't realize the space was off-limits and that the mistake won't happen again.

Martinek's office, by the way, is just across Lownsdale Square from City Hall and one block north, in the Justice Center.

Police parking has been an issue in recent years after a local lawyer started handing out citizen-issued citations to cops parked illegally. But the lawyer, Eric Bryant, abandoned his ticket-writing crusade last year when he moved out of town.

The police bureau's written policy has this to say about parking:
Drivers of marked and unmarked units assigned to the Justice Center are to use assigned parking spaces when attending court and when conducting business at City Hall, the Portland Building and the Justice Center. Vehicles with assigned spaces at the SW 1st and Jefferson garage will not use on-street parking around the courthouse nor on SW 2nd, Jefferson to Madison. The marked spaces in the basement of 1st and Jefferson are for police vehicles only. Any private cars parked in these spaces will be towed.

Employees driving a vehicle that receives a citation as a result of a violation of the No Government Vehicle zones are responsible for paying those citations and may be subject to disciplinary action.
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