Police-bashing Portland commissioner who slandered and lied about cops plans to sue city for “leaking” investigation into her

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The following contains editorial content written by a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today. 

PORTLAND, OR- Far-left neo-Marxist city commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, probably one of the craziest politicians there is (and that is a long list), has filed a notice that she intends to sue her own city—Portland, Oregon—over what she claims is “bogus information” that tied her in to a hit and run accident earlier this year, the Portland Tribune reports.

Hardesty, a drama queen if there ever was one, alleges that employees in Portland leaked news that the victim of the crash believed she was hit by Hardesty, who then fled the scene.

She alleges that Portland police planned on “humiliating” her during a “late-night perp walk.” Not for nothing, but Hardesty does a pretty good job humiliating herself on a regular basis.

Hardesty’s attorneys believe that then-Portland Police Association union president Brian Hunzeker leaked 911 caller information to The Oregonian and other outlets. Hunzeker later resigned from that post and has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

According to the three-page complaint filed Aug. 2 by attorneys Matthew C. Ellis and Stephen L. Brischetto starts with “Black Lives Matter.” Seriously. Hardesty is apparently making the significant jump that here possible involvement in the accident was leaked because she’s black.

No, it was leaked because she’s an idiot.

“Ms. Hardesty intends to stand up for her rights as a citizen,” the complaint says, first reported by Williamette Week and later by KOIN News, a media partner of the Tribune.

Williamette Week reported the tort notice is a precursor to an actual lawsuit. The notice further claims that in leaking the information, city employees “deprived Hardesty of her right to receive public services on the grounds of her race and her advocacy for police reform.”

The notice continues:

“The goal of the leaks was to damage Ms. Hardesty and force her removal from office,” the notice reads. “Had Ms. Hardesty not been a black woman, and had she not sought to call out the PPB [Portland Police Bureau] for long-standing racist practices for decades, these leaks would not have been wrongfully and recklessly disclosed with the purpose of forcing her out of office and maligning her reputation.”

Hardesty whined in a statement:

“What happened to me shouldn’t happen to anybody,” she said. “I’m actually fortunate that I’m an elected official. Do you know how long it would have taken a regular black person in the city of Portland to have proven that they didn’t do the hit-and-run and to seek some kind of redress? I have an obligation for folks who don’t have the wherewithal to actually seek justice.”

“Regular” black person? My she is a legend in her own mind.

The case stems from an incident in March were a woman called emergency dispatchers to claim, as it turns out incorrectly, that Hardesty had rear-ended her car. The incident escalated after details of the report were leaked internally as well as to local news outlets.

After the allegations were put out across social media, Portland police announced they had cleared Hardesty of being the hit-and-run driver. It turned out the suspect was a 64-year-old woman from Vancouver, Washington.

“By that time,” the tort claim reads, “intended damage to Ms. Hardesty by city employees had been done.”

Since that time, both investigators from the PPB as well as outside firms hired by the city have conducted separate investigations into where the leak came from, however the investigations are ongoing, and officials have not said when they will be complete.

Hardesty claimed in her interview with Williamette Week that the investigation by the Bureau of Emergency Communications was finished on July 29. Three employees were disciplined as a result of the investigation.

“We know absolutely nothing,” Hardesty said (that’s obvious). “We know exactly what we knew the day this happened. So do I think there’s been transparency? Not at all.”

The tort claim alleges that the involved city employees showed a “reckless disregard for the truth,” while potentially violating both city and bureau directives relating to disseminating confidential information. The notice also addressed the possibility of criminal official misconduct, which they claim may merit investigation by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

That should be interesting since that county’s DA has shown an unwillingness to prosecute antifa and Black Lives Matter rioters who terrorized the city all last year.

Hardesty claims that two Portland police officers showed up at her home at around 2:30 a.m. on March 4 and alleges they “banged loudly” on the door. She claims she was “home and sound asleep” when police arrived.

She claims (hilariously) that the knock on the door amounted to a “show of force [that] was extreme given that the reported damage to the vehicle was a 1-centimeter circle on the white woman’s bumper caused by the license plate screw from the offending driver’s license plate.

“Meanwhile,” it continues, “Portlanders—especially black Portlanders—often have to wait hours for police response to much more significant criminal allegations. Sometimes there is no response at all.”

Less than 12 hours after the crash was reported, the allegation had found its way to a number of media outlets, including independent reporter Andy Ngo, who has nearly 900,000 Twitter followers and the former chair of the Multnomah County Republican Party—Jeff Reynolds—who has previously written a column slamming Hardesty.

Hardesty complaining about Portland police making false allegations is hilarious in its hypocrisy.

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Last July, she falsely claimed that Portland police “saboteurs” and “provocateurs” were in fact the ones responsible for starting fires after they had “infiltrated” crowds of violent rioters in the city over (at that time) 50 consecutive nights, Fox News reported at the time.

Hardesty later backed down after getting eviscerated by the Portland Police Association. Her initial comments were absurd:

“I want people to know that I do not believe there’s any protesters in Portland that are setting fires, that are creating crisis. I absolutely believe it’s police action, and they’re sending saboteurs and provocateurs into peaceful crowds so they justify their inhumane treatment of people who are standing up for their rights,” she said during an online briefing sponsored by the Western States Center.

After Hardesty’s slanderous statement, then-PPA President Daryl Turner slammed Hardesty’s “outlandish accusation” and demanded she “immediately produce evidence.” He also accused the narcissistic Hardesty of hijacking the protests about racial justice in an attempt to seize power.

Turner went on to accuse Hardesty of putting her own personal agenda ahead of her constituents.

“Of course there is no such evidence. This is just one more example of Commissioner Hardesty putting her personal political agenda ahead of the best interests of the citizens of Portland.

“Politicians bent on power, perpetuating misinformation and untruths, are just as guilty of using their privilege to hijack this movement as the rioters who are committing violent acts, burning and looting. Both actions are causing destruction and chaos at a time when our communities are pleading for leadership and meaningful change.”

Later in a city council meeting, Hardesty once again made false claims about Portland police, and in an interview published by Marie Claire, she told the magazine, in part:

“I believe Portland police is lying about the damage—or starting the fire themselves—so that they have justification for attacking community members.”

That statement drew the ire of Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell, who slammed Hardesty’s lies.

“The commissioner’s statement that police officers would commit the crime of arson to precipitate their violation of people’s civil rights strains credulity,” the chief said. “I am interested in seeing what evidence she has to support her accusations. I’m disappointed that an elected official would make a statement like this without providing specific facts to support it. This allegation is completely false.”

Hardesty later made a tepid apology for her nonsensical statement.

Hardesty has other issues as well. Fox News reported this May that she attempted to block the public release of records about her so-called “equity” bureau, discovered to be fife with ethics and abuse of power issues.

Last January, Hardesty assumed control of the Office of Community & Civic Life, which oversees a number of programs in the city’s government, including cannabis tax refunds and a so-called “racial equity plan” with “social justice goals” intended to address so-called “systemic racism.”

Last year, the Portland Bureau of Human Resources along with city ombudsman Margie Sollinger received an onslaught of complaints from employees of the department, leading to the hiring of a consulting firm to conduct a department review.

That review was made public this past May and showed “longstanding dysfunction” that has “festered and developed untreated into systemic distrust.” The leadership and management style were described as “hierarchical” and “punitive” based on interviews with around two-thirds of current employees and a dozen former employees.

The report also noted that “unquestioning loyalty is seen as rewarded and there is a perception of favoritism in management and hiring practices.”

In March, after the report was finalized, the City Attorney’s Office denied public records requests from numerous parties, citing “attorney-client privilege.” That argument was rejected by Schmidt and ruled it was a public record on May 11.

Just before the records were released, Hardesty intervened which led to accusations from Sollinger and others accusing her of withholding the review and accused her of lacking transparency in order to fix the bureau’s issues. Hardesty, clearly a legend in her own mind, said she disagrees with Schmidt’s decision to make the findings public.

“This assessment is not an audit or performance evaluation of any individual and was intended to provide attorney client privileged information on personnel matters,” Hardesty said. “Although I value the need for transparency in public spending and operations, and always intended to make available a public summary report, I am disappointed in the District Attorney’s ruling as this makes publicly available what were intended to be confidential recommendations.”

Last year, Hardesty called 911 on a Lyft driver who left her at a 24-hour gas station after she got into a dispute with the driver over open windows, a requirement at the time due to COVID regulations put in place by Lyft. According to The Oregonian, the dispute with Hardesty left the lift driver, who has been driving for four years and who handled over 18,000 rides concerned.

“She was not a pleasant person,” the driver, Richmond Frost said. “That has nothing to do with her political position as a Portland council person. I’m out here doing my job. She was very disrespectful to me, made me uncomfortable. I don’t feel like I have to sit in a car for anyone to have to argue unrelentingly and be rude and abusive, telling me what I have to do in my own vehicle.”

Frost said Hardesty demanded he close the windows and continued berating him. He decided to get off the next exit, pulled into a 24-hour Chevron station and decided to end the ride.

“It’s lit up like a football field. It’s safe. It’s warm. She could order another Lyft or Uber, whatever she wants to do, and I can be done, and I can get on with me work,” Frost thought.

However the self-important Hardesty was having none of it, demanding he take her back to the casino or to her destination. Hardesty said she’d paid for the trip, but Frost said he canceled the trip, and no charge was made.

Hardesty refused to exit the car at the convenience store, at which point Frost asked her if he’d have to call 911 to have her removed. That was when Hardesty decided to abuse the 911 system and call police.

Hardesty explained the situation to the 911 dispatcher and lied, saying she was at a dark filling station, telling the operator she wasn’t getting out of the car. Hardesty was told the incident was not a crime, that it was a civil matter, yet she refused. Even the dispatcher suggested she just contact someone for another ride.

“I’m not moving until another car comes,” the arrogant Hardesty said.

Police were finally sent to the location, by which time Hardesty had ordered another ride. In the meantime Frost had contacted police himself. Police arrived at around 9:57 p.m. as the second Lyft driver arrived. Police left at 10:16 p.m. and Hardesty went on her merry way.

Matters such as this is why Hardesty cannot be taken seriously. She’s basically a legend in her own mind and thinks because she’s a “commissioner” in Portland it gives here some kind of sway. Basically all she is is a self-important gasbag.

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