Suits reveal misconduct of former police chief.Byline: Bill Bishop The Register-Guard
Former Eugene interim Police Chief Thad Buchanan, who failed to stop the sexual misconduct sexual misconduct Professional ethics Any behavior that violates a health professional's ethics through sexual contact of physician and his/her Pt. See Professional boundaries. of former officers Roger Magana and Juan Lara Juan Manuel Lara (b. January 26, 1981 in Azua, Dominican Republic) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher who plays for the Cleveland Indians. He was signed by Cleveland as an amateur free agent in May 1999 and called up to the Major League club on September 5, 2006. , had been disciplined for sexual misconduct himself while a member of the department's drug enforcement unit in 1995, according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. documents in civil lawsuits by Magana victims seeking millions of dollars in damages from the city.
Buchanan, who has since retired, was suspended for two days in 1995 after the woman complained that his attentions were unwanted. In a sworn deposition, Buchanan described their relationship as nonsexual, lasting three or four months.
The woman, who is not identified in the document, was an administrative assistant with the Interagency in·ter·a·gen·cy
Involving or representing two or more agencies, especially government agencies. Narcotics narcotics n. 1) techinically, drugs which dull the senses. 2) a popular generic term for drugs which cannot be legally possessed, sold, or transported except for medicinal uses for which a physician or dentist's prescription is required. Enforcement Team when Buchanan was a sergeant there.
Buchanan, who has moved away from Eugene, could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The disciplining of Buchanan may help convince a jury that the city fostered a custom or policy that allowed the officers to abuse women. That's one of the legal thresholds that must be crossed before the city can be held liable for illegal acts of its employees.
In March, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tom Coffin allowed a half-dozen lawsuits against the city to continue to trial. Coffin ruled that the city could be held liable for Magana's and Lara's illegal actions if a jury determines that deliberate inaction in·ac·tion
Lack or absence of action.
lack of action; inertia
Noun 1. of police managers created a custom or policy that allowed the misconduct.
In the ruling, Coffin specifically cited a June 2001 incident involving Magana soliciting a woman while on duty and then lying about it when questioned by police supervisors. Buchanan took no further action to discipline Magana or to increase supervision of him, even though Buchanan knew Magana lied, according to the court record.
Buchanan took over as interim chief in 2002 and served until the city hired current Chief Robert Lehner in 2004.
Lehner said Friday that he is not able to comment about Buchanan's deposition until all the civil lawsuits are settled. However, once the cases are closed, Lehner pledged to release documents that will disclose the history and context of police management decisions from the period of Lara's and Magana's misconduct.
"When these cases are finished, there is going to be a full disclosure. You're going to be working off full documents, not excerpts," Lehner said. "In this case, I think seeing the whole thing is important."
Mayor Kitty Piercy "Kitty" Piercy is the current mayor of Eugene, Oregon, sworn in January of 2005.
The press dubbed Piercy's election part of a "shift to the left" for the Eugene City Council. on Friday expressed confidence that the city has steadily implemented new police policies recommended by outside advisers, and is preparing to launch a new police auditor and citizens review board to monitor the handling of complaints against police.
Magana was convicted of rape, kidnapping kidnapping, in law, the taking away of a person by force, threat, or deceit, with intent to cause him to be detained against his will. Kidnapping may be done for ransom or for political or other purposes. and other crimes. Lara was convicted of official misconduct official misconduct n. improper and/or illegal acts by a public official which violate his/her duty to follow the law and act on behalf of the public good. Often such conduct is under the guise or "color" of official authority. (See: official) for coercing sexual acts from women.
The deposition from Buchanan that included the information about his discipline was taken last June. Asked in that deposition why Magana was able to victimize so many women for so long without being detected, Buchanan compared Magana to a sociopathic so·ci·o·path
One who is affected with a personality disorder marked by antisocial behavior.
so serial killer serial killer Forensic psychiatry A person who commits serial murders Prototypic SK White ♂ age 30; 97% are ♂; 80% are sociopaths. See Dahmer, Depraved heart murder, Ice Man. Cf Megan's law, Son of Sam law. .
"When they are finally caught, their friends, their neighbors, their family, their co-workers are shocked to find out the person has been in their midst all along. Roger Magana was very good at what he did," Buchanan testified.
But he also said officer supervision was hamstrung by the city's low per-capita number of police officers, scant resources for police supervision and the retirements of a large number of experienced officers.
Magana is serving a 94-year prison term. Lara is scheduled for release from the SUMMIT program on May 30, according to state prison records.
The civil lawsuits are scheduled for trial in November, although Lehner said Friday that progress is being made to settle them out of court. So far, the city has paid nearly $2 million to victims of the two.