City of Portland settles legal disputes with two officers - KPTV - FOX 12

City of Portland settles legal disputes with two officers

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The City of Portland has agreed to settlements with two officers in legal disputes that date back several years.

The city has agreed to pay Portland Police Bureau Capt. Mark Kruger $5,000 to settle a tort claim he filed in January 2013.  

In the claim, Kruger's attorney alleges his client was offended by the contents of text messages between an Internal Affairs officer and a supervisor he discovered through the police union.

Lt. Kristy Galvan was investigating Kruger at the time for claims he placed plaques commemorating Nazi soldiers in a Portland park. In text messages exchanged with a superior officer, Galvan and Director of Services Mike Kuykendahl made joking references to "Auschwitz," Hitler's Manifesto, Mein Kampf and other Nazi-related subjects. Kruger's attorney alleges the communications amounted to libel and slander, and were a breach of contract.

In a related settlement, the City of Portland agreed to pay Galvan, who has since resigned, $50,000. Galvan alleged Kruger retaliated against her for her role in investigating him when she was assigned to work under him as a subordinate after that investigation, publicly berating her, ransacking her desk and creating a hostile work environment. 

Kuykendahl, who is referenced in both claims, resigned from his position in February 2013.

Kruger, who remains an active police captain, released a statement through his attorney.

"My personnel record now accurately reflects the high quality of my work serving the citizens of Portland," said Kruger. "I am looking forward to getting back to the business of protecting the public and keeping the peace."

Mayor Charlie Hales also released a statement, not directly referencing the settlements, but addressing the situation.

"I'm not defending actions from 15 years ago," said Hales. "And I'm not addressing the details of the negotiated settlement. But removing disciplinary documents from police files doesn't change the facts, especially in a well-known story like this one. Since I arrived, we have improved police discipline rules to make them timely ,consistent and predictable. There's still more work to be done. We are moving the bureau forward." 

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