Buried in the back pages of The Register-Guard today is the headline-making news that mayoral candidate Jim Torrey opposes an independent police auditor to examine complaints against police.
The paper attributed to Torrey this statement about whether he supports the police auditor:
“Torrey said he, too, supports the auditor, although he believes she should report to the city manager, not to city councilors.”
The whole point of the new police auditor was that it was independent of the city manager and under the city council. The 2005 charter amendment creating the function stated:
“Under the Eugene Charter, only the city manager may hire or appoint individuals or boards to investigate or review complaints against city employees. This measure would amend the charter to allow the city council to hire and supervise an independent police auditor and to appoint a civilian review board to investigate or oversee investigations of complaints involving police employees.”
Under the old system, a non-independent police auditor reported to the city manager along with the police chief. Under that system, EPD officers sexually abused more than a dozen women despite years of complaints that EPD officers ignored.
The 2005 ballot measure was opposed by the police union which made the same argument as Torrey that the function should be under the city manager. The measure to create the independent auditor passed with 57 percent voting yes.
Now the union is one of Torrey’s biggest financial backers and Torrey is running for mayor against the independent police auditor.