Kerry Aleshire claims unjust accusation caused anguish, embarrassment

Former Forest Grove Police Chief Kerry Aleshire filed a formal complaint this summer in Washington County Circuit Court against the cities of Cornelius and Forest Grove and against five law officers, including former Forest Grove Police Capt. Aaron Ashbaugh and Cornelius Police Officers Shawn Watts, Doug Schuetz, Mark Jensen and Miguel Monico.

Aleshire, who left the chief job in May 2012 and is now a Beaverton police lieutenant, had notified the parties last March that he might file such a claim.

The lawsuit claims Aleshire suffered both defamation and "false light invasion of privacy" and asks for $750,000 each in compensation.

Aleshire contends that false and defamatory statements made by Ashbaugh — and spread throughout Oregon’s law enforcement community by the city of Cornelius and its four named officers — ruined his reputation and impaired his chances for professional advancement, causing him anguish, embarrassment and distress.

The statements in question relate to a March 2012 report written by a Forest Grove police officer and indicating that former Cornelius Police Chief Paul Rubenstein may have consorted with someone connected to illegal drug activity.

When questioned about the incident in July 2012, according to the complaint, Ashbaugh claimed Aleshire had directed him to “cover up” and "delete" any information in the report that might damage Rubenstein.

A later investigation by a Multnomah County district attorney found the evidence suggested Ashbaugh "acted on his own volition” in deleting Rubenstein references.

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