PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Clackamas County District Attorney's Office will conduct a review of the wrongful arrest case of Portland resident Michael Fesser by West Linn police to determine if officers involved committed crimes in the county and whether action should be taken to avoid putting future cases in jeopardy, District Attorney John Foote said Wednesday.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported the county prosecutor's office also will determine if credibility concerns raised in the case about officers should trigger a so-called Brady notice, an obligation under the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brady v. Maryland that requires prosecutors to disclose to defense lawyers any material that could impeach the credibility of a government witness.
Foote said his office was aware of Fesser's federal civil suit alleging a wrongful arrest and racial discrimination by the West Linn Police Department but decided to act when the office saw The Oregonian/OregonLive story this week about the $600,000 settlement payout and details.
Fesser, 48, sued West Linn police saying they targeted him for arrest in Portland as a favor to a fishing buddy of former West Linn Chief Terry Timeus. The fishing buddy was Eric Benson, Fesser's employer at the time.
The case file includes racist and crude text messages between West Linn police and Fesser’s boss at the time.
Fesser said he took legal action so this doesn’t happen to another Black man.
The Multnomah County District Attorney's office also announced it would initiate a review of what led to Fesser's arrest and indictment in Portland.
Current West Linn Police Chief Terry Kruger said in a statement Wednesday that the department would fully cooperate with the investigation. He also said he had placed the only remaining member of the police department associated with the Fesser case on paid administrative leave pending the final outcome of the district attorney's investigation.