The Oregonian this weekend broke a bit of juicy news about one of the longest-running and most controversial stories involving the Portland Police Bureau: Capt. Mark Kruger—the cop accused of building a shrine for five Nazi Germany soldiers at a city park several years ago—could face discipline after a top commander and the city's Police Review Board determined his actions brought "discredit and disgrace" to Portland.
City officials have long defended Kruger with regards to his memorial for the German soldiers—and as others have complained about him. Kruger also has faced, and continues to face, criticism over his conduct during anti-war rallies several years ago.
From Maxine Bernstein's story:
During the course of the police investigation, Internal Affairs investigator Mike Barkley learned the city attorney's office had stashed away the plaques in a litigation file for at least six years.
But the city had never initiated an investigation into what they were for or why Kruger put them up until the city got pressure from Robert Seaver, a former friend of Kruger's who dogged city officials with explosive e-mails, interviews with the media and an embarrassing YouTube video featuring Kruger posing in German uniforms.
Former police Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who said he was alarmed there hadn't been a prior in-depth inquiry, last October called for an internal investigation of Kruger. Seaver filed a formal complaint with the Independent Police Review Division the next month. Both prompted the Police Bureau's first, wide-ranging internal investigation of Kruger and a sustained violation.
Now, a former Portland attorney who had sued the city and Kruger in federal court, and Seaver, accuse the city attorney's office of a "cover up."
The police Performance Review Board found Kruger nailed "memorial plaques" of five Nazi soldiers as a shrine to a tree on the east side of Rocky Butte Park sometime between 1999 and 2001, according to a letter Internal Affairs Capt. Ed Brumfield sent to Seaver. The letter is dated Sept. 7, 2010.
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