WW reported in June that Portland officials had completed an investigation into the December 2013 incident in which Fire Chief Erin Janssens had grabbed a subordinate in a threatening manner during a meeting.
At the time, city officials including Commissioner Dan Saltzman declined a WW request to release the full investigation report. Saltzman also told The Oregonian that he believed Janssens had learned from the experience and did not need to be disciplined.
Thursday, The Oregonian shed new light on the story after the city released the report to the newspaper under orders from the Multnomah County District Attorney's office.
According to The Oregonian, the investigation concluded that Janssens acted discourteously towards employee Brian Alcid by putting her hands on him, but did not choke him or make forceful physical contact. The only action recommended by the investigators was a single counseling discussion with Janssens.
The Oregonian also reported that the investigation includes personal notes about the incident from Alcid and Deputy Chief Marco Benetti, who also was present in the meeting. Benetti expressed concern that his job could be threatened if he pursued the matter, writing "[b]oth of us felt threatened by the turn of events – both personally and professionally, and that reporting this incident could negatively affect both of us and our positions with the city.''
After writing the notes, neither Alcid nor Benetti took any further action until October 2014, when Alcid reported the incident to the Human Resources department. Alcid retired the same month.
As reported by WW in June, the incident took place following a meeting between Janssens, Alcid, Benetti, and a member of the Regional Arts and Culture Council. They were discussing the cost of an art installation at Fire Station 21 on the east bank of the Willamette River. Janssens told WW that Alcid violated prior instructions by stating that the Fire Bureau could provide additional funds for the project.
Alcid said that after the council member left, Janssens physically grabbed him while questioning his actions.
"She put her hands around my neck and shook my head," Alcid told WW. "It was the strangest thing that ever happened to me."
Janssens said she only put her hands on Alcid's shoulders, and regretted doing so immediately afterwards. She contacted Alcid's supervisor to ask if he was alright, and was told it was not an issue.