The city of Bend has terminated its contract with the head of its police department. Jeff Sale’s departure comes one week after the department’s public information officer resigned amid a sex scandal.
City Manager Eric King says while that incident prompted the review that eventually led to Sales’ termination, there were also concerns about a larger cultural problem inside the department.
He says in interviews, subordinates described the former police chief as “unapproachable.”
King credits Sale with setting the department on a path to modernization, but he says the chief’s style prevented others from buying into that vision.
“You do need to find the person that’s going to not just sit in the room and come up with a good plan, but to find a strategy and involve some allies to help execute that vision, and I didn’t see in the course of my interviews strong evidence of that in the department,” King said.
According to King, Sale’s contract with the city allowed for termination without cause.
OPB was not able to reach Sale for comment.