Three weeks ago the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office opened an internal affairs investigation into Deputy Larry Wenzel, after WW reported he had coordinated with federal immigration officers in violation of the county's sanctuary policy.
Today the Portland Tribune's Nick Budnick reports several more cases where county deputies apparently violated the policy by tipping Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers to the whereabouts of suspected undocumented immigrants who had not been convicted of crimes.
In one of the emails obtained by the Tribune in a public records request, Deputy Keith Fisher helped ICE Deportation Officer Jeffrey Chan track down Stepan Starodubtsev, a 25-year-old man who had been arrested for theft and trespass.
Fisher provided Chan with Starodubtsev's last known address and the contact probation officer. Per Budnick's report, this exchange followed:
“Best of luck in finding him,” Fisher wrote.
“Thank you for your help,” Chan replied. “He likes to abscond and I’m trying to get him to rekindle his relationship with Putin of Russia.”
“HAHAHAHAAH nice!” Fisher replied.
The emails show several other instances where deputies aided ICE in contravention of county policy. Sheriff Mike Reese told the Tribune he had ordered a captain to meet with the relevant deputies and that internal affairs would review the emails for a "potential investigation."
WW has contacted Reese's office as well as Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury for additional comment. Check back for updates.
Update 3:10 pm: No word yet from Reese's office, but Kafoury sent WW the following statement.
Donald Trump’s executive orders are creating chaos and fear in our community. It’s shameful and it is undermining trust in government.
I’m hearing from members of our community who are trying to figure out what this means for them, their children, their families and neighbors.
It’s important for all of us in local government to make sure that we are upholding the law and the rights of our residents. To do that, we need to bring people together and this administration is making that harder every day.
I don’t know what the next few months will bring, but I’m committed, and I know the board of county commissioners is too, to doing our part to ensure that families are staying together and thriving — that means living without fear.
Ultimately, we all need to tell the federal government to stop this fear-mongering and get back to working for the people.