The union representing ICE agents wants the Oregon and U.S. Department of Justice to conduct a criminal probe of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler — and is demanding he give up his supervisory authority over the Portland Police Bureau.
“We believe that Mr. Wheeler has committed the crime of official misconduct,” stated a letter dated Wednesday and sent by Sean Riddell, the lawyer for the union, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.
Oregon Live reported letters were sent to both U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, in which the National ICE Council asks officials to probe whether Wheeler committed official misconduct or violated the Constitution by directing Portland police officers not to respond to some calls for service during a long protest last June at an ICE field office.
According to the letter, Wheeler declared on June 20 he didn’t want the Portland Police Bureau “sucked into a conflict” with a federal agency he disagreed with — and afterward the crowd around the Portland ICE office grew, OPB reported.
Riddell claims Wheeler didn’t enforce several city ordinances and state laws, including disorderly conduct, riot, harassment, and prohibited camping on public property and public rights of way, OPB reported.
PPB officers responded to at least 12 calls for service around the Portland ICE office after June 20, OPB reported.
“Make no mistake,” Wheeler said in a statement Wednesday, OPB reported. “They are coming after me because I am a vocal opponent of the administration’s policy of separating kids from their parents.
“Now we know many of these kids will be permanently orphaned as a result. That is wrong. I’m outraged by it. Previous claims made by Sean Riddell have fallen apart upon further inspection and these claims, if investigated, will too.”
Riddell is a former Oregon Department of Justice chief criminal attorney who resigned in 2011 at the request of then-attorney general John Kroger, The Oregonian reported at the time.
A spokeswoman for the Oregon DOJ says the agency is reviewing the letter, OPB reported.
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