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Former detective sues city, Canby Police

Former Canby Police detective Dennis Swanberg is suing the city for $900,000 for allegedly punishing him unfairly and forcing him to resign.

The suit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court, names the city, Police Chief Bret Smith and Lt. Jorge Tro as defendants.

Swanberg served on the Canby police force from 1984 until his resignation in 2012.

In his lawsuit, Swanberg says Smith and Tro retaliated against him for supporting another officer in a gender discrimination complaint against the department.

In August 2010, the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries interviewed Swanberg in its investigation of the gender complaint by former officer Teresa Britton.

Swanberg had just settled a 2009 lawsuit against the city. That suit alleged that then Police Chief Greg Kroeplin unfairly punished him for his involvement in the investigation of another officer, Jason Deason.

The lawsuit filed Monday said police officials notified Swanberg in April 2012 he was under investigation for his handling of a March 27, 2012, incident. He resigned June 18, 2012.

The suit said the Canby police officials then notified Oregon Board on Public Safety and Standards that Swanberg had resigned under investigation.

The board revoked Swanberg’s law enforcement certification in February 2013 after finding he failed to properly investigate a report of child abuse or document his actions. The board also found that he had been dishonest when questioned about the incident.

But that fall, an administrative law judge appointed to review the case found Tro’s investigation “sloppy and insufficient.”

The judge questioned whether Swanberg’s superiors were using the March 27 incident as a vehicle to remove him from the force.

The board rescinded its decision and Swanberg kept his certification.



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