Deadline Looms for Sheriff Giusto
State Board Likely to Revoke Certification in February

If it wasn't bad enough that Multnomah County Sheriff Bernie Giusto faces losing his law enforcement certification, the Lieutenant he hired to act as his lawyer (Sheriff's office spokesperson Bruce McCain) was suspended from teaching classes due to his conflict of interest in the case (Oregonian, November 8). The State's Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) released a report confirming they have evidence that several allegations made by businesssman Robert Kim (PPR #42) could cost Giusto his badge. The report said Giusto "knew far too much detail" about former Governor Neil Goldschmidt's sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl to "credibly call what he knew 'rumors'" (Oregonian, October 30). The report also implies he may have lied about helping his friend Jim Jeddeloh get a gun permit, while pursuing a relationship with Jeddeloh's wife, Lee Doss, and lying about that. Giusto issued a 71-page reply to the DPSST on November 15, saying the charges were politically motivated and partly the media's fault (Oregonian, November 16).

New allegations surfaced in early November that Giusto inappropriately used a County vehicle to drive Doss to Seattle on at least two occasions, drawing the interest of the State's Ethics Commission and Justice Department (Oregonian, November 20).

The DPSST's Police Policy Committee will decide in mid-February whether to revoke Giusto's badge. He has made claims that while he needed certification to run for Sheriff, the state law does not require him to be certified now that he has been elected. Experts are split on the question, but the Tribune and the Oregonian have already staked their ground and, on October 16 and 25 respectively, called for Giusto to resign. The Willamette Week noted that Giusto could lose his certification to be part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force if he loses his badge (October 17).

These are all important concerns, but ignore some basic facts about Giusto, such as his virtual dismantling of the Sheriff's Internal Affairs Unit, many of the jail deputies' violent behavior (see sidebar), and the fact that he waited until after his re-election to release information about the inmate who sneaked into another cell to have sex (PPR #39). In other words, yeah, maybe he's a liar, but he's also not a competent Sheriff.

In early December County Chair Ted Wheeler began floating proposals for the County to take over operation of the jails to improve accountability.

In PPR #42 we mistakenly reported that half of 60 deputies who applied to the Portland Police decided to stay with Multnomah County. Only 33 actually applied and at most 8 transferred (Oregonian, September 18).
See sidebar on lawsuits and high visibility incidents

People's Police Report #43 Table of Contents
People's Police Report Index Page
Return to Copwatch home page