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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

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
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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

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
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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