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The Eugene City Council voted to reinstate the independent police auditor but censure her for â€œpoor judgmentâ€ in showing a private attorney for an alleged victim of police abuse a photograph from the police.
The photograph was of the citizen who filed the complaint against the police and then hired the attorney.
The allegations that resulted in the Eugene City Council putting interim Police Auditor Dawn Reynolds on leave are â€œdisturbing and disruptiveâ€ and lack merit, Eugeneâ€™s previous auditor Cris Beamud said in a written statement.
â€œI have had an opportunity to speak with Dawn Reynolds, and I do not believe that the allegations against her are meritorious,â€ wrote Beamud, who left Eugene last summer to head the police oversight system in Atlanta.
Interim deputy auditor Elizabeth Southworth accused Reynolds of disclosing confidential information and the city council met in a session closed to the public on Saturday and put Reynolds on administrative leave while investigating the complaint.
â€œIt doesnâ€™t sit well that the auditor would be exposed to such scrutiny for so little,â€ said Beamud in an interview.
â€œThe information that she [Reynolds] disclosed to the lawyer representing a complainant was not privileged or private or even investigatory in nature,â€ Beamud wrote in her statement. â€œYou cannot take otherwise public information and transform it into privileged information by putting it in a file. That is exactly what some members of the police department would like to do.â€
Beamud continued, â€œNo human being can withstand the twisted scrutiny that the police would like to impose on the auditor. This is a very difficult position, and I do not believe that any person can do this type of work without the support of the city council. The city council needs to examine the nature of the allegation, including the Auditorâ€™s perspective before doing anything that undermines her authority and ability to do her work.â€
Munir Katul a physician who resigned three months ago after serving on the Civilian Review Board said he agreed with Beamud. He said the council should not have put the auditor on administrative leave before hearing from Reynolds, who he said is recovering from surgery. â€œItâ€™s not like a cop shooting and killing somebody,â€ Katul said of the leave. â€œI think this is ridiculous. This is implying far greater guilt for the auditor.â€
The Eugene City Council voted unanimously to send the recommendations of a subcommittee on the Police Auditor to a public hearing.
The Eugene police auditor and pothole measures and the 4J schools and LCC money measures appear likely to pass.
All held substantial leads by 10 pm with about a quarter of the votes counted.
Hereâ€™s the yes vote on the measures:
Police Auditor- 65%
4J Levy- 65%
District Attorney Doug Harcleroad has dismissed Eugene Police Sergeant Ron Swansonâ€™s criminal allegation against independent Police Auditor Cristina Beamud.
"Thatâ€™s good news," said Mayor Kitty Piercy, responding to a letter from Harcleroad at tonightâ€™s City Council meeting. "He has concluded there is no evidence of any violation."