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Monday, August 27, 2007

Politics This Is What Happens When You Screw With The Water Bureau

Posted by Scott Moore on Mon, Aug 27 at 1:57 PM

Yeesh! On August 10th, Water Bureau Director David Shaff issued some pretty strong words to whomever was crapping up Keller Fountain by filling it with soap.

“We are working with police and the bureau’s security specialists to prevent future incidents. We’d prefer not to go into too much detail on this — but we will see that legal remedies are pursued as we can. What’s happening at Keller is criminal activity,” read Shaff’s message.

Well, now we know what he meant. The Water Bureau’s blog (have I told you before how much I like the Water Blog?) has a photo of Nolan Cunningham, age 19, who was cited by the Police Bureau with dumping detergent in the fountain. His case has been referred to the district attorney’s office.


“We’re naming names – and showing his picture as a deterrent to other people who may think that shutting down a major downtown attraction for a couple of days is fun,” Shaff writes.

“We’re busy protecting public health and safety and the water system infrastructure and shouldn’t have to waste our time and effort on this sort of thing. We will prosecute offenders we catch and we will charge them for the water we have to dump. People up to mischief: think twice.

Don’t fuck with David Shaff.

For the sake of balance, here’s a photo of Shaff and Commissioner Randy Leonard.



You don't think it might be better to wait until the accused is convicted before posting his photograph?

I don't think Nolan looks like he's scared shitless. Oh you're busted now!

If the media did that, Amanda, TV news programs would just be a blank screen. and think how boring "To Catch A Predator" would be! As for whether the Water Bureau should post these photos, I'd like to hear what people think.

He was "caught red-handed." I think it's okay to post his pic. If I caught Metro red-handed using a measure 37-claim unlined landfill in Washington County within 100 yards of the Tualatin River, I would have no problem posting THAT pic.

To blog-posters who ask if it's okay to post a photo of someone arrested and charged with a crime: yes, it is. Read the newspaper. You misunderstand the legal system. The rights of the person charged with a crime are protected by the legal system, underpinned by more than two centuries of precedent, tested again and again by a judicial system dedicated to preserving the rights of all Americans, balancing the rights of various individuals, including the victims of crime. Private individuals and organizations dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals would be the sources to check with if you think the person arrested has had his rights violated. Real journalism consists of presenting opposing views to all of us through various media, and if the Oregonian had thought there was any conflict in posting and/or printing the photo, I believe they would have sought and published the opinion of an attorney with the ACLU. I trust them to do so now, except I imagine the right to inform the public in this way is so well-established that it becomes a waste of ink and paper. I'm going to get in touch with the ACLU and ask them to communicate via blog and print outlets if they think there's an issue here. We can all make mistakes in judgment, but outrage in this case seems premature.
Doug Kahn

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