Reviewing chief says LGPI report was professional; councilor says there have been changes since reviewer was a chief

by: FILE PHOTO - GreisenA former Lake Oswego Police Chief, enlisted by Scappoose officials to review the findings of an investigative agency’s report regarding Scappoose Police Department Chief Douglas Greisen, upheld the report after reviewing it.

Retired Lake Oswego Police Department Chief Les Youngbar reviewed the findings of the independent investigation conducted by the Local Government Personnel Institute that found Greisen violated 10 of the city’s policies related to his involvement in a Feb. 4 police pursuit.

Youngbar’s review of the report, written in a letter to Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge and acquired by the Spotlight Wednesday, Nov. 20, upheld the institute’s investigation as “fair” and “reasonable.”

“In the write up I feel a fair representation of interviews was presented and the findings to be reasonable,” Youngbar wrote.

Youngbar was called to review the LGPI report after a committee of Scappoose city councilors called the report “erroneous” and “prosecutorial.” The committee, called the Personnel Review Committee and made up of Scappoose City Councilors Barbara Hayden, Jason Meshell and Mark Reed, alleges the LGPI investigator, Craig Stoelk, was prejudiced against Greisen. Stoelk is a retired Salem Police Department child abuse and homicide detective.

Youngbar said he did not find anything within the report that indicated investigator Stoelk entered the investigation with a bias or prejudice against Greisen.

“I did not feel that the interviewer used harsh tactics or was adversarial,” he wrote. “Certainly, there were occasions were the interviewer sought clarification but this seemed perfectly reasonable given that the pursuit took place several months earlier and that the documentation of the event was limited.”

To conduct his review of the LGPI report, Youngbar wrote that he reviewed the report itself, as well as departmental policies related to the report’s sustained violations against Greisen. Youngbar also listened to recorded interviews of Greisen, SPD Sgt. Doug Carpenter, who first raised questions about the chief’s actions in the pursuit, and former SPD Officer Anthony Miltich, the officer who conducted a controversial intervention tactic following Greisen’s authorization during the pursuit.

“I compared them to the interview write ups which allowed me to assess both the accuracy of the translation to paper and tone of the interviews,” Youngbar wrote.

“The letter tells me the LGPI report was done professionally and properly,” Burge said.

Asked how he planned to move forward with the former Lake Oswego Police Chief’s findings, Burge answered, “I’m not sure, I’m just gonna leave things as they are for now.”

Scappoose City Councilor Donna Gedlich said she appreciated Youngbar’s response.

“Well, it was very nice that he responded as quickly as he did and his comments were his opinion and he hasn’t been a police chief for many years and there’s been a lot of changes since he retired,” she said.

Youngbar served as police chief in Lake Oswego from 1987 to 2000, according to a document outlining his key professional experience.

When asked what she thought of the LGPI report, Gedlich said, “I’m not privy to all the information that was given out, so I’ve tried to be very, very careful of what I’ve talked about because of Doug’s relationship with our family.”

Calls from the Spotlight to the three members of the PRC, as well as councilors Jeff Erickson and Larry Meres, were not returned before press time.

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