The Albina Ministerial Alliance has slammed Portland's settlement with Police Capt. Mark Kruger, calling it, "an insult to every freedom and justice loving citizen in the City of Portland."
Kruger brought a lawsuit against the city after text messages between Mike Kuykendall, a former Police Bureau official, and Kristy Galvan a police lieutenant, that characterized him as a nazi supporter. The settlement removed two prior disciplinary actions from his file; an 80-hour suspension and a written reprimand, added 80 hours of vacation; placed a letter of commendation in his file; and awarded him $5,000.
Kruger had been disciplined after it was discovered that in 1999 he had nailed a plaque to a tree on Rocky Butte with a message that honored WWII-era German officers who were nazis.
Galvan was unhappy at being forced to work for Kruger, because she had filed a workplace harassment complaint against him. When the complaint was dismissed Kruger posted the letter informing him of the result on his door with Galvan's name written on it. Galvan's name was not mentioned in the letter. Both Galvan and Kuykendall resigned after the text exchanges were published in the Oregonian.
Galvan also pursued a tort claim against the city and was awarded $50,000.
Mayor Charlie Hales issued a statement last week saying he was unhappy about the settlement and did not condone Kruger's actions.
Here is the full statement from the Albina Ministerial Alliance.
The Settlement Agreement with Police Captain Mark Kruger
The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform opposes the Settlement with Captain Mark Kruger, which includes Mayor Charlie Hales and Chief of Police Mike Reese's decision to overturn two internal affairs investigations findings about Captain Kruger, one including his posting of Nazi-era German soldiers in a Portland Park and the other retaliating against a female subordinate who'd filed a complaint against him. In addition to having his record expunged, Kruger received vacation time to compensate him for the eighty (80) hours discipline suspension and will receive a $5000 cash settlement.
This Settlement Agreement stemming from a legal claim against the city filed by Captain Kruger in 2013 rewards him for actions that are completely contrary to the vision of a diverse, accountable, just, community oriented and transparent police bureau that is being sought by Portland's citizens and the US Department of Justice.
The negotiated settlement by outside counsel due to internal conflict of interest and the decision by Mayor Charlie Hales and Chief of Police Mike Reese agreeing, signing and offering Captain Kruger abundant rewards for his past sustained detrimental actions against the city of Portland and the Portland Police Bureau is an insult to every freedom and justice loving citizen in the City of Portland.
The citizens of Portland remember that the actions of Captain Kruger in 1999 of a ceremonial service worshiping Hitler and the Third Reich as he honored five Nazi-era German soldiers who waged a war against humanity.
Also, the citizens of Portland remember the pending case of harassment brought by Lt. Kristy Galvan against Captain Kruger. Furthermore, to add injury to the insult of making Captain Kruger a poster image for the Portland Police Bureau, Mayor Hales approved a settlement agreement that not only rewards Captain Kruger but expunges his records of past complaints without going through the normal City Council process for lawsuits, especially for such a controversial settlement. This is further exasperated by Chief Mike Reese writing a letter of commendation to be placed in Captain Kruger's personnel file.
The citizens of Portland want to move as a progressive city for freedom, justice and equity, the decision by Mayor Hales and Chief Reese runs contrary to the image and direction of the City of Portland. Their decision shows insensitivity to those who have been victims of the Third Reich and their crimes against humanity as well as women who work in male-dominated professions.
This is not the direction the citizens of Portland desire to be reflected in their Police Bureau and their city.
Let the Mayor and Chief of Police send the right message to the citizens and every police officer that the past actions of Captain Kruger do not represent the City of Roses and let's support the Department of Justice Proposed Settlement Agreement and Judge Michael Simon's annual review of the Agreement to help insure police accountability, justice and reform.