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.
"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.