Oregon Mayor Marge Brown's son, who is a city police officer, will be suspended without pay for 20 days after an investigation of misconduct, including illegally using a statewide law enforcement database to search for information about a former girlfriend, according to a report filed yesterday.
Jeffrey Brown, 39, also had been investigated for having sexual contact with another girlfriend while on duty several years ago. That charge, which Officer Brown has denied, was dismissed in yesterday's report.
Officer Brown and the police union have agreed to the upcoming suspension, part of which will be served in October and part in January, Oregon Administrator Kenneth Filipiak said.
The suspension is the result of Officer Brown's use of a statewide law enforcement database “numerous times” to search for information on a former girlfriend. He also will be blocked for six months from using two databases used by law enforcement, according to the report.
Officer Brown did not receive special consideration because of his relationship to the mayor, Mr. Filipiak said.
“We consider the matter closed at this point,” Mr. Filipiak said.
Officer Brown could not be reached for comment yesterday. Neither could Marilyn Widman, attorney for the Oregon Police Patrolman Association, of which Officer Brown is president.
Mayor Brown, who is facing off against two opponents in the Sept. 15 primary, declined to comment yesterday.
As a result of the investigation, Officer Brown was suspended as of Aug. 19 from the department's special response team for six months. Oregon police Chief Richard Stager will determine Feb. 18 whether Officer Brown can rejoin the team, and he will be required to be evaluated by the employee assistance program.
Officer Brown also must volun-teer 40 hours with the Oregon Recreation Department. And he was verbally reprimanded for bringing into question the reputation of a teacher at his children's school, St. Patrick of Heatherdowns School, according to the report.
Officer Brown had no prior discipline records in his personnel file. He has been an Oregon police officer since Sept. 7, 1999, and had been turned down for the position of sergeant.
Both Officer Brown and Ms. Widman signed off on the police department's disciplinary finding Thursday, as did Chief Stager. Most of the investigation was conducted by Oregon Assistant Police Chief Paul Magdich, with a follow up by Chief Stager.
Although former Oregon Police Chief Thomas Gulch conducted an investigation into Officer Brown several years ago, a report — including whether he had sexual relations while on duty — could not be found, according to the report released yesterday. So a punishment as had initially been recommended by Assistant Chief Magdich for that charge likely would violate Officer Brown's contractual rights, according to the report.
Still, this is not the first public issue of problems involving Officer Brown.
In 2003, a former police officer filed a sex discrimination lawsuit in Lucas County Common Pleas Court against the city of Oregon. Officer Candace S. Elliott had alleged she was fired in August, 2002, after she rejected the advances of Officer Brown, who told colleagues the Curtice, Ohio, woman was a safety hazard and demeaned her law enforcement abilities.
Ms. Elliott claimed she subsequently received unfavorable performance evaluations and was treated differently from male officers, according to the lawsuit. The case was settled and Ms. Elliott received $182,500.
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