The city’s Independent Police Review has released its full investigation into former Portland Police Chief Larry O’Dea. It amounts to more than 250 pages of documents and memos.
O’Dea lost his job after he accidentally shot a friend during a hunting trip in 2016.
Investigators found that O’Dea discredited the city by attempting to hide his role in the hunting accident. They also found he was not truthful during the investigation.
They noted that the former chief created the impression of a double standard by hiding the fact that he was under investigation, when the public is generally notified of rank-and-file officers being involved in off-duty incidents.
Over the summer, the city released a few heavily redacted documents from the investigation into O’Dea, but this is the first time the full documents are available.
A judge dismissed criminal charges against O’Dea earlier this year.
Five additional police bureau employees were also under scrutiny for failing to take action after O’Dea told them about the accidental shooting.
Assistant Chief Mathew Wagenknecht, who reviewed the investigation, ultimately faulted Captain Derek Rodrigues, the captain in charge of the Professional Standards Division, for failing to place O’Dea under investigation or to notify the city’s Independent Police Review division about the off-duty incident.
Rodrigues felt that when O’Dea told him about the incident, it was a personal conversation and was not something he needed to report.
“He said, you know, it was an accident. He felt bad,” Rodrigues told investigators.
“There is nothing in me that resonated, “Hey, I’ve got to contact IPR. I’ve got to contact somebody. There’s nothing for me that caused me any concern,” he said in released transcripts.
But Wagenknecht found that Rodrigues, as the person in charge of the Professional Standards Division, was clearly obligated to open an investigation into O’Dea, regardless of the nature of their conversation.
Assistant Chief Michael Crebs, Assistant Chief Robert Day, Assistant Chief Donna Henderson and Assistant Chief Kevin Modica were also under scrutiny for failing to take action after O’Dea told them during a meeting about his role in the hunting accident.
Wagenknecht cleared the four former assistant chiefs of any misconduct because all four believed that Rodrigues had been notified and that an internal affairs investigation was being conducted.
All four assistant chiefs were reassigned or demoted after the incident. Henderson and Modica chose to retire.