BREAKING: Sam Adams boots Dan Saltzman from Police Commissioner role; fires Chief Rosie Sizer

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

In a sudden press conference a few minutes ago, Mayor Sam Adams removed City Commissioner Dan Saltzman from his role as commissioner-in-charge of the Portland Police. He also announced that Chief Rosie Sizer would be fired - and replaced with a new chief, Michael Reese.

From KOIN:

"Four years is a lot of time to serve as a chief," Mayor Sam Adams declared upon firing Rosie Sizer from her post as Portland Police Chief.

In a whirlwind week of politics, Adams will take over as Police Commissioner for Dan Saltzman, assuming command of the police bureau.

Mike Reese, former commander of the Portland's East precinct, will take over for Rosie Sizer.

"I want to thank Mayor Adams for this opportunity to take over," Reese said in a planned press conference.

The Mercury reports on the decision by the Mayor to dump Saltzman:

Saltzman has done his "able best," said Adams. "But frustration and mutual skepticism remains, and it is my responsibility to address that." ...

Dan Saltzman emerged from Adams' office stony-faced before the press conference. Are you still the police chief, he was asked? "Let's just wait until the mayor's press conference," he responded, heading downstairs to his office. He faces a battle for reelection in six days.

Update, 1:24pm: Jesse Cornett has released a statement:

"For several months, I have called on Mayor Adams to remove Dan Saltzman as Police Commissioner. Today, the Mayor made the right move. It's about time. Commissioner Saltzman was clearly in over his head and unable to manage the police effectively," said Cornett.

Update, 1:27pm: On her Facebook page, Mary Volm has a comment:

Whether you like Rosie or not, the Mayor is vindictive - he's mad because she called him on his lie. She has been ramping up to full force at Council's demand, and told the mayor she had accomplished this and he said she never told him... anyone who reads the paper knows this! I know how the mayor uses others as his scapegoat.

Update, 2:40pm: The O's Anna Griffin wonders aloud about the politics:

What exactly did Dan Saltzman do to get this kind of political whipping from the mayor? First Adams hands him the bureau, a no-win assignment even when the relationship between the public and the cops is warm and fuzzy, then he pulls it from him a week from the election.

Willamette Week reports on Commissioner Saltzman's reaction:

Saltzman called Adams’ decision an example of the mayor’s vengeful and headline-driven style of governance.

“I’ve experienced vindictiveness by the mayor,” Saltzman said of his years on City Council. “I would characterize this as one of those circumstances.” ...

Saltzman is less than one week away from the May 18 primary, so he also this afternoon questioned the mayor’s timing of his announcement.

More news as we get it.

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    Could any of the experienced politicos read tea leaves on this? It seems really odd, given the timing of the election. The obvious things that come to mind are . he doesn't think Saltzman could lose . an external contingency forced his hand . he wants Saltzman to lose

    I like the internal hire. Is he permanent or a custodian while we do the "court every overpaid flatfoot in the country, especially if they know nothing about Portland"?

    Is anyone talking about bringing the Oregon statutes that talk about when cops are justified using deadly force into the 21st century? As long as rogue cops know they only have to deal with the City Council, that has to put a lot more pressure on the City Council.

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      Not the city council. It is my understanding that only the Mayor has authority to fire police personal, not even a council member who has the Bureau in their portfolio.

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    Portland is missing a major money making opportunity by not selling tickets to this circus that is city hall.

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    Full disclosure: My firm built Jesse Cornett's campaign website. I speak only for myself.

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    Maybe there could be a 3rd recall effort. Someone on the Mayor's staff needs to be fired as well. This budget fiasco is sheer incompetence.

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      Someone on the Mayor's staff needs to be fired as well. This budget fiasco is sheer incompetence.

      I believe that's what he did today.

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        There are two sides to every conversation. Clearly Saltzman and Sizer were not properly discussing the budget with Adams' budget staff. However, Adams didn't review the budget with Saltzman and Sizer before going public. Each one of this trio failed to do their most basic administrative job and each then blamed the other. None of them performed their jobs appropriately.

        My comment on the need to fire someone on Adams' staff is that somewhere their is a budget analyst that was responsible for looking at the police budget and recent headcount/payroll and they didn't do their job. If there isn't such a person then the trio is even more responsible for the budget screw-up. This is pretty basic administrative management functioning and they have all been doing this for years. No excuses.

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          You're points are well taken, but to move from that to advocacy of a 3rd recall attempt are ridiculous.

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            I would have to agree. I think most are content to let him stew in his own juices until the cycle is up. The option I should have added was "someone called BS on him". I'm sorry to be so crude, but this seems to be a case of our Mayor saying, "You don't contradict me in public, bitch!"

            My biggest concern is that when voters constantly apply the same filter and the outcomes are always the same, you create politicians that are exactly what you're trying to avoid. After sinking Democratic nominees with sex scandals, Clinton emerged as a Democrat that could survive such a scandal. After years of propping up puppets in Iran and letting it be known that only a revolution would produce anything for locals, that's what we got. Sam has had constant evolutionary pressure around lying and getting away with it. At this point it's what he does well. Given a difficult situation, he naturally applies what he knows works.

            It's our fault that it works. Kudos to Mary Volm for saying something pretty similar. Glad I've held off voting.

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    Very, very curious timing, with both Saltzman running for re-election in 6 days and the settlement of the James Chasse case yesterday.

    Notice that Rosie Sizer said that Chasse's death was an "accident" yesterday?

    Is this Sam Adams trying to reform the Police Bureau? If so, it's too little, too late; there's rot and corruption deep inside, and firing a chief who was likely to retire in two months is just a vindictive action to make it look like he was doing something.

    Adams should have done something much, much sooner, perhaps after Saltzman cowering in front of Scott Westerman's mob regarding suspending Chris Humphreys.

    Agree with Mitchell Gore that relieving Saltzman of the Police Commissioner position right before the primary is a slap in Saltzman's face.

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    woah, what is up with the Facebookization of Blue Oregon? why would you hand over the basic operations of your whole site to Facebook, and then require people to use that them in order to participate? Very, very bad move.

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      Last week called. They want there news back.

      (wry grin)

      Sorry had to say that.

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        Nice. For the slow-on-the-uptake, here's the page that explains why -- curiously hidden in the upper right corner of EVERY SINGLE PAGE ON THE SITE.

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          I'm just glad that Facebook makes it impossible for anyone to anonymously troll here.

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          i read that page. there is no place to comment on it. so... i commented on the most recent thread. no need for the patronizing "slow-on-the-uptake" comment.

          what other measures did you take to reduce trolling before requiring facebook accounts for participation?

          here are some very basic measures you can take:

          1. require an account
          2. verify the email address
          3. disallow comments by new users for 3 days. add other restrictions as desired
          4. put a "block user" button on every post that lets individuals block a user entirely, including all responses to that user.
          5. watch trolling fade away.

          also, for fun, peruse some political oriented groups on facebook, and observe that trolling is just as present as the rest of the internet. the problem is the medium, not the level of anonymity. the only solution is the architecture of the application, allowing users to self-moderate.

          eventually, facebook is going to go the way of myspace/friendster/etc. Blue Oregon would be better off diversifying, you could at least add twitter connect, or google friend connect.

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    Sam Adams' credibility as a leader takes another self-inflicted hit. His skills as a politician and instinct for governance are zip, zilch.

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    This is a comically absurd abuse of power, politically motivated by a vindictive, dishonest, opportunistic, total creep of a Mayor.

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      so the Mayor is not allowed to fire the police chief, Sal? That's an interesting theory.

      Could it maybe also be that he's tired of the fockups and outright insubordination of the PPB and made a necessary change?

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    Glad all the serious folks have weighed in. Maybe the cool kids club can apologize to Sho Dozono next time, get him to run again, and start a newer, more decent political cycle in Portland. Because maybe the last few years have demonstrated the problems of our provincial system in Stumptown.

    Portland's politics are by nature exclusive and technocratic though, so it's fully dependent on the cool kids club.

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      It's not a cool kids club, but a political arena where people generally have to demonstrate their commitment/skills in order to "move up." Sam had positioned himself better than anyone else, and Sho Dozono clearly did not belong in the Mayor's office. Next time, presumably Nick Fish becomes Mayor.

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      Why couldn't all but #4 be true, and he acted now because it became a personal insult when she called BS on him publicly, and proved it?

      With that change I would heartily agree!

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        Here is a question though, when does someone who works under you cross the line for insubordination?

        Do I, as an employee have a right to be insubordinate to my boss or would I get fired?

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          It depends on how things work out. Sometimes you're insubordinate and end up as Lord Nelson, and sometimes you're not and end up in the dock at Nuremburg.

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      Sorry but Saltzman could not fire Sizer. He didn't have the authority to do so. That authority rests with the Mayor's office.

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    I've been trying to back-of-the-envelope the budget issue. As a matter of scale, it appears the proposed cuts in the police were 2.5% (25 of 975).

    Seems like most of those who might get laid off could be rehired within six months - even presuming an average 20 year tenure (that is, 50 officers leaving each year, hence 25 openings). Presuming an average 10 year tenure, it would only take three months.

    When the Oregonian editorial board - among others - decried the cuts, they didn't offer what they would cut instead to make the budget balance. Which makes their editorial a lot less powerful and engaging.

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    This is one of the many reasons I don't live in Portland. What a bunch of clowns and rubes over there.

    Insanity is Portland voters electing the same people over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Every time in the past ten years when presented with someone who is an actual businessperson and might rein in the insanity, Portland voters chose the status quo. Sam Adams, Bozo #1, was the status quo choice and there you go.

    At least the second biggest bozo, Erik Sten, stepped down so he wouldn't inflict himself on you all any more.

    Since it is Portland government, I am sure they'll end up paying Sizer a big payoff. That's how they roll in Government. You can't fire anyone without a big settlement since the rubes on the council can't negotiate a real-world CBA.

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    How funny is this. A critical comment from someone outside the blueoregon oligarchy and you all close ranks around the Portland City Council.

    As far as trolling, I have been posting on blueoregon for quite some time. Look it up. A troll is a hit and run; making a comment for inflammatory reasons and then gone.

    If you don’t want opposing viewpoints, create a litmus test so only kool-aid drinkers are on the board. Sounds boring to me, but I’m one of those free-speech types who prefer an intellectual discussion.

    Like I said, look up my previous posts to decide if I am a troll. Then debate without name calling or shut it.

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      So Ken, since you're not just taking pot shots, please tell us where this municipal government that you revere so highly, to which you are comparing Portland.

      It's not an opposing viewpoint for you to basically say that Portland's elected leaders are idiots. An opposing viewpoint actually makes a point. Start by telling us who you think is a great elected leader in city or county government in the state.

      Or, as you so artfully put it, shut it.

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        Oh, I didn't say I wasn't taking potshots. Sam Adams, pedophile and clown-in-chief is such a target right now, it's hard to resist. And I didn't call them idiots, I called them Bozo's. Which means inept or clown-like, not necessarily stupid. What I took issue with is you calling me a troll.

        If you think Portland's city government is just dandy, then we disagree.

        I don't need to give you an ideal of a working municipal government or who is a great municipal or county leader. Governments are human, and therefore will have flaws. But I do understand management and it effective management ain't happening in Portland.

        Businesspeople don't necessarily make better mayors or councilpersons. But they do bring a perspective that is sorely lacking in Portland, and frankly in state government right now as well.

        Businesspeople who have stayed in business have learned that you can't do every cool project you want to do, that a budget is not a vague concept and that you can't just go out and raise revenue by raising taxes just because you won't exercise financial discipline. Sometimes you have to shrink the workforce. Those are hard choices and they are rarely seen in Portland.

        The Portland City Council is dominated by people who have spent pretty much their entire working life in government. At least having a couple of businesspeople in there would add some real-world perspective.

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          One person, Ken. Give me one person in municipal government that you think is donig a good job.

          On the shrinking workforce, I guess you didn't see the WWeek piece about the Mayor laying off five staff?

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      I clicked here to post my reply. Don't know why it's above here.

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      You seem to not know what a pedophile is and isn't.

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        That was supposed to be in reply to Ken Ray's drivel.

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        I know exactly what it is. And Sam Adams qualifies. Unless you buy the "We only looked longingly at each other until he turned 18" story that Adams' press office put out.

        You do remember the story right? Minor (under 18) pursued by mayor-to-be? It was kind of in all the newspapers?

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          You don't know what a pedophile is then. A pedophile is someone who is sexually attracted to pre-pubescent children. A post-pubescent 17/18 year old is not that at all.

          Stop using words you don't know the meaning of.

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    Well I didn't vote for the guy, so don't blame me. How many others here can say that? So much for "vision" and "energy" and all the other reasons we were supposed to vote for Adams.

    I didn't trust him then and I don't trust him now. Anna Griffin nailed it. He's petty and vindictive. Those are bad enough in a political leader. But I seriously doubt his competence at this point.

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      I didn't vote for Adams either (since I live in Aloha) but I support him now and did when he ran. Why? Well, because he's been a dedicated and effective public servant for a good long time and because he's doing a difficult job well enough to compare favorably with Katz and Potter. I think that waiting to fire the chief until the city got dinged for heavy damages showed appropriate restraint.

      If he runs again, I'll send him more money. Why? Because businesspersons are usually inept at public administration and Adams is the personification of public administrator expertise.

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    "Commissioner" is misspelled in the post's title.

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    The mayor has angry & control issues .He a back stabber watch it you could be next. It does not believe in true democracy many previous employees can till if you disagree with Sam he will fire you. He need to but the money for his bike plan in to the mentally ill.

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