October 29th, 2008 5:33 pm | by COREY PEIN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, Cops and Courts

Police Leak Investigation Raises More Questions Than Answers

whitewash_1Yesterday, after WW went to press with this story about Commissioner Randy Leonard's allegation that someone in the police bureau had spread damaging information about his daughter, Leonard's latest nemesis, Chief Rosie Sizer, released the results of an internal affairs investigation prompted by the commissioner's complaint.

Sizer's summary of the report is meant to close the lid on this story, but it only raises more questions.

Foremost among them: Are all internal affairs investigations handled so poorly?

Sizer's summary—framed as a letter to Mayor Tom Potter—shows the investigation was so limited as to be meaningless.

For starters, it concerns only the single comment on the Mercury's site that contained case information on Leonard's daughter. This was not the only place where the case numbers were spread around.

Sizer compounds this myopic view of what constituted an improper "leak" by accepting an even more limited definition of how the dirt on Leonard's daughter might've been obtained. Wrote Sizer: "The investigators can say definitively that no one from the Police Bureau ran Commissioner Leonard's daughter's information through LEDS," the state law enforcement data system.

So what? The leaker didn't need LEDS to obtain case numbers involving Leonard's daughter. She or he could've simply walked into the county courthouse and asked for the information—or looked it up on OJIN, Oregon Judicial Information Network, from a personal computer.

"The allegations that someone from the Chief's Office had any knowledge of this post and provided it to the Mercury or any other media are serious. My staff is well aware that providing this kind of information in such a way would violate the Police Bureau's Directives on release of public information and could result in disciplinary action," Sizer wrote.

This is a diversion. Sizer is trying to make this about public records and procedure. The real issue is whether the chief of police, or someone allied with her, tried to derail a bureau critic and would-be police commissioner by pushing a story about his daughter's criminal record.

She goes on: "If Commissioner Leonard has any evidence or additional information regarding this incident or any others involving the improper release of information, I would strongly urge him to provide it to you, the Internal Affairs Division and the Independent Police Review Division."

Here, Sizer is asking Leonard to back up his charges with some facts. Of course, Sizer—not Leonard—is in a far better position to unearth those facts. That's assuming she doesn't already know them.

The chief concluded: "I have not—nor would I condone—anyone in my office of leaking [sic] information to reports [sic] about Commissioner Leonard's family."

Note that the grammatical errors render this pseudo-denial virtually unintelligible.

Mayor Tom Potter, who has defended Sizer from Leonard's bird-dogging, has two months left in office. Before Potter leaves, Mayor-elect Sam Adams, and his newly chosen police Commissioner Dan Saltzman, should decide whether Sizer is capable of investigating herself.

Here are images of the report:

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