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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 21, 2007 10:31 AM. The previous post in this blog was Game report: Blazers 100, Wizards 98. The next post in this blog is Media death watch, Portland edition. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New felony defense in Multnomah County: "He was depressed"

Here's a good one. If you're a parole officer, and you steal pot out of evidence and smoke it in front of your colleagues at a party, that's not a crime that Multnomah County is going to prosecute you for.

It seems that if you're a law enforcement officer, being "very depressed" because you have some stage of Parkinson's disease is a valid defense for that kind of conduct. Being "very depressed" apparently includes your state of mind at a Christmas party that you're throwing at your own house.

Chalk another one up for Mike Schrunk. "We got him to resign -- that's good enough." Sounds like this case. Or this one. Or this one.

The guy makes a lot of deals. Maybe after 26 years, it would be healthy to have a fresh face making the deals.

Comments (17)

Oh, and he will get his PERS pension. Not to mention unemployment!

while I certainly sympathize with the unfortunate
nature of the man's illness and recognize that at
the root of it all is the unending controversy in
absurdity of the criminal status of marijuana in an
age of enlightenment for so many of us.

Having said that, anyone who's followed Mike Schrunk's
"legal career" as our District Attorney clearly sees him
as a MIKE SKANK when it comes to his so-called "lawyerly
skills" in that he has helped facilitate the gaming of the
system so that well-known killer-cops like Nice, Humphreys,
McCollister, Besner, Sery, et al simply skate their own darn
skanky butts past the jail without even a look inside.

This FACT alone demolishes any illusions he may harbor
that he is a "pillar of this community"! Hardly is growing
assessment of more and more out here.

As for the only positive thing to say about him is this...
he's old and worn out and one hopes he is soon to RETIRE,
then we can be damned and done with him and his so-called
sense of "justice" hoping the next one has a firmer gripe on
the concept!

Have a good day!

"where one of Afzal's coworkers recognized the container holding the weed as one seized from an offender"

Love the slang. Sort of revealing!

The apples don't fall very far from the tree.

Specifically on this case, I can't get worked up about Schrunk's decision. This guy has no criminal history and is well-respected by his colleagues. He gets a fatal diagnosis of Parkinsons (a disease that can also have a neurological impact) and he does something totally out of character. He voluntarily reports what he did to his boss, and he loses his job.

Personally, I want prosecutors to use discretion in cases like this. Past good deeds should matter, and the criminal justice system shouldn't punish people harshly for one mistake.

It has become clear over the years, and in the wake of abuse cases cited by Jack (and others uncited), that the Multnomah Co. DA has little interest in engaging in meaningful oversight of law enforcement in Portland. Indictments that would be routine against a private citizen become “impossible” to procure from a grand jury when the subject of investigation is an officer. Charges are minimized with an acceptable solution being a reprimand or other such administrative remedy. None of us can be so delusional as to believe that a “reprimand” would be acceptable if any other Portland resident were the subject of investigation.

I blame the Mayor and Commissioners for this too, for their constant unwillingness to demand results from the DA. I think it is time that internal investigation be removed from the DA’s purview. We should consider a permanent independent special counsel, with the inherent ability to convene a grand jury, and a permanent small staff of investigators to oversee law enforcement at all levels in the city. This position would not report to the DA, the Mayor, or the City Commission, but rather to a revived and recreated Citizens Police Accountability committee. Just a thought….

While other cases may indeed need more investigation, I agree with Miles (above) that the DA needs the ability to take specific circumstances into account.

Parkinson's is a fatal disease that often causes mental aberrations as well as the physical problems -- and this person has it at an unusually young age. The fact that he did something completely out of character but then turned himself in and voluntarily resigned has to be (and was) considered.

He voluntarily reports what he did to his boss...

How convenient a description. His co-workers (at least one of them) were going to turn him in anyway.

One, he stole the weed and two, he smoked it in front of witnesses. Here's a scarier, but plausible, explanation: He was so sure that his buddies at the party were cool with both acts, that he felt no compunction about firing up the stolen dope.

He miscalculated, got busted, and here we are. On the hook for PERS (probably) and unemployment (possibly).

I guess I missed the part about being held to higher standards and all that twaddle.

Book 'im, Dano!

I have two close friends with Parkinsons. One diagnosed in his late 40's and one in mid 50's. Plus I have had several clients with Parkinson. I believe everyone of them would object to the biased treatment being received by Afzal. Many of us have health impairments but seek no special treatment. If Afzal could hardly walk as reported, then how could he perform his security job? Why hadn't he quite, or been fired, or reassigned. Most of us would make arrangements to change our lives to fit our abilities. Why PERS and unemployment and all the other benefits? Plus, he committed an alleged crime that should be prosecuted.

Just reading about Portland's DA non-action concerning Afzal makes me depressed. Now, do I get PERS and my unemployment check--oh, severance package and past sick leave time too? Then the "Oh" will probably write up a sob-story and start a fund for me; then I can write up a heartbreaking book.

The guy stole evidence and smoked it. I don't care how "nice a guy" he is. That's serious crap that deserves some criminal sanction. Even the first time you do it.

You want to strip this poor S.O.B. of his pension because went crazy and stole a little pinch of herb and smoked it in front of his co-workers? His pension is probably VESTED which means it can't be taken from him EVER no matter what he forget about it. Maybe he should have gotten prosecuted and given what...probation? O.K. let's visualize him out there with his walker and the orange safety vest doing his 100 hours of community service picking up garbage along side the freeway.

So let's say you get horribly terminally ill and become severely depressed to the point you can't think straight and you do something really F-ing stupid? It's not like he's Bernie G. or Derek F. who are guys who are supposedly sane and should have know better and get paid big bucks to know better. This is some piss ant who makes something like 40K a year. Have a little heart and stop kicking a guy while he's already in the gutter gasping and wheezing.

you get horribly terminally ill and become severely depressed to the point you can't think straight and you do something really F-ing stupid

If it's criminal, you're charged. Look, I know people with Parkinson's. It is NOT an excuse for this kind of crap. And if a non-boy-in-blue did it, they'd be charged.

He can have his pension, but for him to collect unemployment is as crooked as his stealing the pot.

You're the ex-prosecutor, right? Uh huh. Circle those wagons. Big Mike -- pure as the driven snow. Can do no wrong.

"He was depressed". Fine. Smoking weed? not a big deal. But stealing evidence and lying about it? And getting away with it? Wow. Where's that evidence room? I want a piece of this action.

"He can have his pension, but for him to collect unemployment is as crooked as his stealing the pot"

I don't think it's certain he will get unemployment -- the state decides that, not the county. All the county said was that they wouldn't fight it. And the unemployment folks typically take a dim view of people who resign voluntarily (which is probably what the paperwork says) or who are fired -- versus those who are downsized or laid off.

"Have a little heart and stop kicking a guy while he's already in the gutter gasping and wheezing."

Like James Chasse?

Gee. When an 18-year-old kid became severely depressed to the point he couldn't think straight and did something really F-ing stupid, the cops shot him.

And when a guy walking in Portland was so mentally confused to the point he couldn't think straight and did something SORT OF F-ing stupid, the cops beat him to death.

And when a young man in Sandy became so injured he couldn't think straight - and did NOTHING really F-ing stupid - the cops shot him.

I'll save my compassion for those, thank you very much.

"I'll save my compassion for those, thank you very much."

Sounds like you're more into venting your rage at authority than expressing compassion.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2012
Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2011
Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
Edmunds St. John, Heart of Gold 2012
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010

The Occasional Book

Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 69
At this date last year: 110
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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