Cop shop alliances lead to surprises

When the dust cleared from an extensive Portland Police Bureau management shakeup last week, perhaps the biggest surprise to little birds at the agency was the promotion by Chief Rosie Sizer of newly demoted Chief Derrick Foxworth from captain to Southeast Precinct commander, and his friend Rod Beard from commander to assistant chief. The surprise has nothing to do with qualifications; it's because of well-known past bad blood between Foxworth's leadership team and Sizer.

Sources Say suspects Mayor Tom Potter had a hand in promoting the two African-American men, since minority leaders recently have been very vocal with Potter about the overwhelming whiteness of top city management.

Interestingly, amid all the moves, Sizer left an assistant chief spot open, saying 'arrangements' needed to be made before making an announcement. That fits the rumor now spreading like wildfire among Portland's street cops: The next assistant chief of the Portland Police Bureau is going to be an outsider, most likely Brian Martinek, until recently Vancouver (Wash.) police chief and a former captain with the Multnomah County sheriff's office.

Vancouver requires its chief reside within its city limits; in March, the well-regarded Martinek gave notice that he was stepping down and moving to Portland, where he is sending two of his children to private school.

Unions 1, contractor 0

The union battle that has been spilling onto the streets of Portland and into City Hall took another turn last week when the National Labor Relations Board stepped in.

Local construction unions, which have been protesting the use of a nonunion construction company on the downtown Benson Tower, scored a minor victory when, in an NLRB settlement, a subcontractor named Benson Tower LLC agreed to pay back wages to Cliff Puckett, a carpenter who'd been improperly fired by the firm in February.

Puckett, an official with the Pacific Northwest Regional Council of Carpenters, admits he sought work on the project to learn how much it paid and to talk to the workers about the benefits of unions. But federal law bans workers from being fired for just that sort of thing.

We've seen enough, thank you

Metro President David Bragdon insists he did not mean to slight Mayor Tom Potter at Friday's forum on how to make the region's ambitious land-use plans work better.

At the beginning of the New Look Regional Forum at the Oregon Convention Center, Bragdon stressed that everyone already agrees on the plans' goals of maintaining livability - the trick is how to encourage more intensive development within the urban growth boundary.

'We don't need any more visioning,' Bragdon said, sparking gasps from some of the 300 attendees because of Potter's well-known 'Vision Project.' Asked to clarify his comments, Bragdon said he meant no more visioning about Metro's land-use plans. 'That wasn't a dig at Tom. There are some people who want us to keep visioning,' he said.

- Tribune staff

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