This Week in the Mercury


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Controversial Cop Was Driver in Crash Costing the City $50,402

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Jason Lobaugh
  • via Portland Copwatch
  • Jason Lobaugh
A 2011 collision between a motorcycle and a Portland police cruiser rolling through a red light at NE Cesar Chavez—apparently without its emergency lights or siren (pdf)—just got a wee bit more expensive for the city of Portland.

City council yesterday agreed to pay rider Jason Wallace $50,402.14 for bodily injuries associated with a crash on August 25, 2011, adding to the $11,000 the city approved earlier this year to cover the cost of Wallace's motorcycle. The combined payout, according to a Mercury database of police settlements and legal payouts, is among the highest in the past 20 years.

The documents on the city council agenda don't identify the officer. But the Mercury first reported yesterday, thanks to the city's risk management office, that the officer involved is detective Jason Lobaugh—a cop who's had a controversial career, to say the least.

Lobaugh's racked up a long history of tort claims over the way he polices. He once sort of endorsed torture in a post supporting the Iraq war. He complained about a 20-day suspension under former Chief Mark Kroeker, praised Bill O'Reilly, said certain people on Portland's streets were "scumbags" and called racial profiling a "myth."

And he's had kind words about police accountability advocates: "This is for all you knuckleheads looking for police misconduct around every corner— Go back to smoking your weed, eat some ho-ho's and stay out of our way."

"Sounds like a real nice guy," says a sarcastic Dan Handelman of Portland Copwatch.

Lobaugh also was involved in two previous collision payouts. In 2001, another intersection crash, this time with a stop sign, cost the city $3,500. Lobaugh also was named in claim involving a clipped parked car that cost the city $627.

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