New FBI head had trouble
The new head of the Portland FBI was rebuked by agency Director Robert Mueller in March for his conduct toward a whistle-blower.
Mueller announced Monday that he was transferring Robert Jordan from the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility in Washington, D.C., to the Portland division. In March, Mueller rebuked Jordan for his treatment of John Roberts, a subordinate who had criticized the FBI on national television.
Roberts appeared on the CBS News show '60 Minutes' last October and said that rank-and-file FBI workers received harsher discipline than senior managers.
Jordan later passed Roberts over for a promotion, a move that was criticized by Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine as leaving the impression of retaliation.
Mueller then sent Jordan a letter of rebuke, rejected a proposed pay bonus and ordered him to receive counseling as well as training on the appropriate response to whistle-blowers.
Jordan replaces Charles Mathews, who retired in May.
Weapons seized at port
The U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection said Thursday that agents had seized a large shipment of weapons at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 on June 28. No one had been arrested by Thursday morning.
The shipment from the People's Republic of China was bound for Central America. The seizure was based on intelligence concerning a shipping container. It held more than 700 handguns, 900 magazines and 450 shotguns.
The customs and border protection bureau is a division of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security.
Nurses go on strike
Providence Milwaukie Hospital 'will be open for business and fully staffed with highly qualified nurses' during a 24-hour strike today by staff nurses, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Renee King said Thursday that the hospital would be staffed with nurses from other Providence hospitals and from placement agencies.
Providence nurses, represented by the Oregon Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, Local 5017, are staging a strike from 7 a.m. today to 7 a.m. Saturday because, they say, hospital administrators are not adequately staffing the hospital's busiest floors.
Four sessions with a federal mediator, including one on Wednesday, failed to resolve issues dividing the two sides.
Earlier this year, after the union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the hospital, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the hospital must address staffing issues.
'But they are not following the (board's) staffing guidelines,' said Laura Beaulaurier, a Providence Milwaukie nurse and a member of the bargaining unit. 'This strike is about this unfair labor practice and patient safety.'
King disagreed: 'There are not patient safety issues here at the hospital. The hospital has been recognized for its quality care. The issue at the bargaining table is agency shop.'
Agency shop is an arrangement in which nurses who do not belong to the union still have to pay fees equivalent to union dues. The union wants an 'open shop' agreement, in which nurses would not pay fees unless they joined the union.
Police review looks shaky
City Commissioner Jim Fran-cesconi is worried about the future of Portland's new system for reviewing citizen complaints against the police.
The system was designed by city Auditor Gary Blackmer and operates out of his office. But on Wednesday, the City Council heard Blackmer concede that he is fighting with a majority of the Citizen Review Committee that was approved by the council as part of the system in December 2001.
'My feeling is, this is a very bad sign for the future of where we're headed,' Francesconi said.
Wednesday, the council gave Blackmer the authority to recommend the appointment of replacement committee members. A city ordinance had previously given that authority to the committee itself and the Independent Police Review Division of the auditor's office, which also was created in December 2001.
Committee member T.J. Browning testified against the change, saying it placed too much power in the hands of the auditor. After the vote, Browning said, 'There is not the political will on the council to have a truly independent review process. Accountability is not on the council's agenda.'