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2013 review: Staff issues, investigations divide Scappoose

by: COURTESY PHOTO - Since early September, Scappoose Police Cheif Doug Greisen has been the subject of three seperate investigations. He remains on paid administrative leave. The city of Scappoose and the Scappoose Police Department entered a somewhat trying period at the beginning of September when Scappoose Police Chief Douglas Greisen was placed on a two-week suspension for supposedly mismanaging a Feb. 4 police pursuit (“Police chief gets 2-week suspension,” Sept. 6). That short suspension was extended as allegations brought forward by SPD officers resulted in a total of three investigation into the chief. 

Scappoose city officials received a tort claim notice in late September from an attorney representing Scappoose Police Sgt. Doug Carpenter, who alleged Greisen retaliated against him after Carpenter brought forward a complaint against him to Scappoose Police Lt. Norm Miller (“Officer’s claims raise lawsuit potential,” Sept. 27). That claim incited a second investigation into whether Greisen ran a retaliatory workplace. 

In late September, the Spotlight acquired a 25-page report compiled by a private investigation firm outlining the details of Greisen’s policy violations during the Feb. 4 pursuit (“Report provides details of police chief’s violations,” Sept. 20). Specifically, the report indicated Greisen authorized a Pursuit Intervention Tactic against a non-injury hit and run offender at speeds of more than 40 miles per hour — --which, by departmental policies, is considered the use of lethal force. 

Shortly after that report was released, a committee of three city councilors recommended that then-City Manager Jon Hanken retract all discipline issued to Greisen on the grounds that the report was “erroneous” and “not an objective review.” Two of those councilors later told the Spotlight in separate interviews Nov. 4 they were friends with the chief (“Objective review?” Nov. 8). 

Scappoose city councilors terminated Hanken’s contract at a well-attended Nov. 8 meeting, but insisted the action had nothing to do with Greisen. Hanken, however, told the Spotlight it was clear to him the council would seek to fire him as soon the aforementioned committee found the investigative report’s findings “null and void.”

Finally, the discovery of a bank deposit bag containing cash, evidence from a 2009 investigation involving an embezzlement case at Michael Curry Design in Scappoose, and information related to an unauthorized account in Greisen’s office that was locked inside his desk drawer,  sparked a third investigation into the chief involving inappropriate spending (“Greisen’s use of unauthorized account probed,” Nov. 15).

Greisen remains on a paid leave of absence pending the results of the two ongoing investigations into allegations he ran a retaliatory workplace and misspent city money. City officials indicated at a Dec. 3 meeting those investigations would be complete before the end of the year. To date, the investigation results are still pending.