Saturday, February 20, 2016

Oregon DOJ asked to investigate Grant County sheriff

The dispatcher at the John Day 911 center hesitated when Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer radioed in for information about a roadblock after state police shot and killed Robert “LaVoy” Finicum. Palmer was on his way south from John Day on Jan. 26 after hearing reports of the traffic stop and shooting, triggered when authorities moved in to arrest leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge takeover. The veteran sheriff had been left out of the planning for the stop on U.S. 395 about 20 miles north of Burns in Harney County and now he wanted his dispatchers to fill him in. “I felt uncomfortable knowing that I had to relay vital and confidential information to someone who may not be trustworthy,” the dispatcher later told her supervisor. The extraordinary scene of a police dispatcher distrusting the top law enforcement officer in the jurisdiction is part of a litany of allegations against Palmer that may now subject him to a state investigation. The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training on Thursday released eight separate complaints, including ones from a 911 manager and the John Day police chief, alleging misconduct by Palmer. The complaints, filed the past two weeks, all raise alarm about Palmer’s association with leaders of the refuge occupation. The state agency, which licenses police officers, has asked the state Department of Justice to investigate. The licensing agency notified Palmer by letter dated Feb. 11 about its intentions, warning that if violations of police standards are found, he could face revocation of his police certification. The licensing agency can take a range of actions against Palmer’s police certification, up to revocation. The agency, however, has no authority to remove Palmer from office since he is an elected official. A recall election could remove him. State law also requires sheriffs to have police officer certification...more

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