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Former sheriff's sergeant pleads no contest

Court sentences him to probation after sex investigation of Washington County deputies.


DANIEL CARDINALA former sheriff’s sergeant who resigned during an investigation of sexual misconduct in Washington County has been sentenced to two years of probation.

Daniel Cardinal, 40, also lost his state certification as a police officer when he pleaded no contest Thursday in circuit court to a single count of official misconduct, which is a misdemeanor.

Sheriff Pat Garrett accepted Cardinal’s resignation May 1, after the office received anonymous allegations of misconduct by Cardinal and others. Garrett turned over the investigation to the Portland Police Bureau, which forwarded the case to the Multnomah County district attorney for further review. Such transfers are routine to avoid legal conflicts.

The allegations involve coercive sex by deputies while on duty and their harassment of female deputies.

“Mr. Cardinal's plea and loss of his Oregon police certification ensures he will never again work in law enforcement,” Garrett said in a statement issued by Sgt. Bob Ray, the office spokesman.

“I remain committed to maintaining very high professional standards, and I fully support decertification of any officer who violates the trust of the community, and this agency by engaging in criminal misconduct.”

Cardinal’s no-contest plea was entered during a proceeding that was not listed on the Washington County court docket.

Ray declined to discuss the case further Friday.

At least one other deputy is the subject of criminal proceedings stemming from the investigation.

Jonathan Christensen, 38, a former sheriff’s corporal, was indicted by a Washington County grand jury last month in connection with the investigation. Christensen faces one count of coercion, four counts of official misconduct, and one count each of domestic fourth-degree assault and domestic strangulation. The first charge is a felony.

Christensen, a 15-year veteran, was alleged to have coerced an off-duty female deputy March 10 while he was in uniform and visited her at her home. After a judge issued a restraining order and Christensen lost a subsequent challenge to it, he was fired Aug. 12 after an internal investigation.

Christensen did not appear at a July 27 meeting with Garrett, but letters were submitted on his behalf by Christensen’s lawyer and the president of the Washington County Police Officers Association, which represents about 300 sheriff’s office employees.

“Workplace violence violations are very serious matters,” Garrett wrote in his July 29 letter firing Christensen.

“As a public safety officer, you are sworn to uphold the law that enforces domestic violence-related crimes. Your actions were in direct violation of these laws and the oath of office and code of ethics which you swore to uphold. The fact that you did not comply with this policy is an aggravating factor and if known to the public would most certainly bring discredit to this office.”

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