Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Oregon: Clatskanie Mayor survives recall

Mayor Diane Pohl survived the recall vote with 53.44 voting to retain her. Turn out was 403-851 voters.The issue was the resignation of the police chief over allegations of racist remarks and how soon the resignation was accepted.

The recall arose in response to the Aug. 19 resignation of Police Chief Marvin Hoover following allegations that he made racist remarks. Two Clatskanie officers told state officials that Hoover imitated a howling monkey and then sang Dixie during a discussion about a complaint of racism. The complaint was filed July 20 with the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, which has yet to make a finding in the case (as of today).
The recall petition asserted that Pohl should not have rushed to accept Hoover’s resignation prior to completion of the state investigation. Hoover was given four months pay, about $27,000, and also gets to collect retirement pay.
“Had mayor Pohl taken proper action, it would have saved the taxpayers of ... Clatskanie from undue monetary expense,” the petition asserted.
Pohl claimed that the city put Hoover on paid leave immediately upon hearing the allegations and that she accepted his resignation on the advice of the city attorney and Hoover’s lawyer.
Another completely unrelated matter became a backdrop the the recall effort. Pohl’s husband, city planning commissioner Ray Pohl, faces charges that he exposed his genitals o to a worker at a drive-through coffee stand over a two year period. The alleged victim finally filed a complaint with the Oregon State Police, saying his connections left her nowhere to complain in Clatskanie. Ray Pohl’s case is not yet scheduled for trial, but a pretrial conference is slated for March 16.
Pohl has declined comment on her husband’s case.
Elections officials said 851 voters were eligible to cast ballots in the race, and turnout was at 43 percent as of late Tuesday morning.
“This is most loving community I have ever been in. I’m grateful to be mayor and to be able to represent them in a positive way,” Pohl said.

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