PROUD BOY REMAINS JAILED: On Nov. 3, Multnomah County Circuit Judge Greg Silver denied self-described Proud Boy Alan Swinney's motion to reduce his bail, which is set at more than half a million dollars. Swinney, 50, has been held in the Multnomah County Jail since Sept. 30 after prosecutors indicted him on charges for assault, menacing, unlawful use of a weapon, use of pepper spray, and pointing a firearm at another person. The charges stem from two separate protests in Portland: one on Aug. 15 in which prosecutors allege Swinney shot a protester in the face with a paintball gun, and another on Aug. 22 where prosecutors say Swinney shot a protester with a paintball gun, pepper-sprayed another, and pointed a firearm at protesters with his finger on the trigger. The court set Swinney's bail at $534,000, citing his violent behavior and the fact he is a Texas resident without "gainful employment" in the Portland area, making him a flight risk. Judge Silver's ruling means that two men with a history of violence at Portland protests remained behind bars on election night: Tusitala "Tiny" Toese has been held in the Multnomah County Jail since Sept. 1.
CITY WANTS FEES IN LEAD FLAP: City of Portland attorneys are going after a contractor and neighborhood activist for court fees after his lead-related lawsuit forced a city bureau to report on demolition inspections as required by law. Sean Green, who pushed the city to inspect home demolitions to ensure proper removal of toxic lead paint and dust, sued earlier this year when the Bureau of Development Services failed to report its progress on demolition inspections to the City Council by Jan. 1. While the lawsuit was pending, BDS presented the report, making Green's lawsuit moot. Rather than agreeing to the judge's proposal to dismiss the suit without prejudice, however, the city filed a motion Oct. 29 seeking to force Green to pay $2,705 in court fees, a move Green's attorney, Alan Kessler, says is highly unusual and "retaliatory." Deputy City Attorney Tony Garcia disagrees, saying he told Green and Kessler in January if they stayed their case until the report came to the council he wouldn't seek fees—but if the city incurred expenses seeking the case's dismissal, there would be consequences. "The request for fees is because the city offered a reasonable resolution," says Garcia. It was Green and Kessler's choice not to accept, he says, and they should pay a price.
BUDGET OFFICE ANSWERS COP CUT QUESTION: City budget director Jessica Kinard has completed an analysis showing City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty's proposal to cut $18 million from the Portland Police Bureau budget would result in officer layoffs. After heated debate on the cuts Oct. 28 as part of a regularly scheduled midyear budget adjustment, a majority of the City Council asked for more information. The other commissioner in favor of the cuts, Chloe Eudaly, insisted they would not lead to layoffs. On Nov. 3, Kinard found otherwise. That finding could make for difficult post-election conversations as the council concludes budget talks Nov. 5. Hardesty remains undeterred. "I will still be pushing for $18 million or a counterproposal that makes sense," she says. "We need the Police Bureau to adjust what the community wants them to do."
HEALTH CZAR IGNORES STATE HALLOWEEN GUIDANCE: After Oregon Health Authority officials and Gov. Kate Brown warned against the dangers of trick-or-treating during the pandemic, OHA director Pat Allen greeted trick-or-treaters at his house anyway. OHA defended against charges of hypocrisy by saying Allen followed federal health guidelines to offer Halloween candy at a social distance in individually wrapped packages. Allen "made Halloween candy available to neighborhood children from a table at the end of his driveway," OHA spokesman Robb Cowie tells WW. "The candy was sealed in individually wrapped packages. The health authority appreciates the efforts of everyone who found ways to make Halloween fun for kids while keeping them safer from COVID-19."
VOTERS GOT BUSY: Oregon voters got a big jump on Election Day this year, turning in more than 100,000 more ballots by election eve than the previous record set in 2016. The state's Motor Voter Law led to registration of nearly 400,000 new voters in the past four years. Most are unaffiliated with any party and tend to vote less often than partisans. But Samantha Gladu, executive director of Next Up, which encourages young people to vote, cheered the turnout. "Oregonians have shattered every record on the books for voter turnout," Gladu says. "It happened because our community came together to get out the vote for racial justice, climate and a fair economy. It's critical that we respect this and count every vote before calling any election." Read full election results at wweek.com.