Council United in Effort to Block Officer's Re-hire
For the second time a state employment agency has reviewed the firing of Officer Ronald Frashour and ordered he be re-hired with back pay. And for the second time Portland mayor Sam Adams has promise to fight the order, up to and including the state Supreme Court.
It's the latest round over the controversial man whose AR-15 bullet pierced the back of Aaron Campbell on the night of January 29th, 2010. Ronald Frashour's high powered rifle ended Campbell's life and created a firestorm of controversy. Campbell, it turned out, was unarmed, although Frashour testified he pulled the trigger because it appeared Campbell may have been reaching for a gun in his waistband.
Although a Multnomah County grand jury later cleared Frashour of any criminal wrongdoing in Campbell's death, a police review found that he had violated bureau policy and he was fired. Since that time the police union has fought the termination, and two employee relations boards have ordered that he be reinstated. Mayor Adams has resisted and promised to appeal.
This latest round will require the approval of the city council, and so far Adams has the support of Nick Fish, Amanda Fritz and Randy Leonard. Only former police commissioner Dan Saltzman has not spoken out, although he has been out of the office recently. In a quote to The Oregonian, Randy Leonard admitted there is little chance such an appeal will succeed, but they feel it necessary to take that chance. Fellow commissioner Amanda Fritz has promised that, should Frashour ultimately be given his job back, it may be time to go to the State Legislature and ask lawmakers to consider changing rules that make it nearly impossible to fire a police officer.