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Cornelius police probe to wrap up this month

The investigation into complaints about Cornelius Police Chief Paul Rubenstein, who is currently on paid leave, should be concluded in the next week or so, according to Cornelius City Manager Rob Drake.

The probe was prompted by a list of allegations sent to the Cornelius City council in October by four Cornelius officers.

In their complaint, first reported by the News-Times on Nov. 6, the officers claimed Rubenstein and Assistant Chief Joe Nofsinger created a hostile workplace and retaliated against their efforts to expose what they characterize as Rubenstein’s “negligent, unethical, abusive, hostile and/or unprofessional behavior.”

After the department concludes its internal investigation, officials will decide what action to take. Drake said he'd like to see the police department provide a better level of service and work more efficiently.

Could that include sharing a police chief with Forest Grove, much like the two cities now share a fire chief?

While Drake and Forest Grove City Manager Michael Sykes have talked at length about city partnerships, including a combined municipal court scheduled to be up-and-running around March, a shared police chief seems unlikely in the near future.

With new Forest Grove Police Chief Janie Shutz still getting to know the Forest Grove community, Sykes told the News-Times he'd like her to settle into her new position before discussing whether she could also serve another community.

Drake, for his part, praised interim Police Chief Ken Summers, a retired captain and undersheriff of Yamhill County, for keeping the department from becoming “stagnant” while the investigation is ongoing.



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