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Police union slams Portland Mayor's criticism of lieutenant

The grievance stems from statements concerning Portland Police Lt. Jeffrey Niiya and his friendly text message exchanges with right-wing Patriot Prayer group leader Joey Gibson.

Posted: Feb 20, 2019 7:24 AM
Updated: Feb 20, 2019 7:24 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The Portland police commanding officers union has filed a grievance against the city, citing a provision that says any reprimand of a police supervisor should be done in a way "least likely to embarrass" the officer in public.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the grievance stems from statements Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, as police commissioner, and City Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty and Chloe Eudaly issued last week concerning Portland Police Lt. Jeffrey Niiya and his friendly text message exchanges with right-wing Patriot Prayer group leader Joey Gibson.

The Portland Police Commanding Officers Association also filed a workplace harassment complaint against Wheeler, Hardesty and Eudaly, writing that their comments were "derogatory and hostile and damaged Lieutenant Niiya's professional work environment."

Wheeler, in a Feb. 14 release, called the text messages "disturbing" and said they "appeared to cross several boundaries."

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