Scott Sothern, the Portland police officer accused of driving drunk on the Oregon coast and desperately trying to dodge a Tillamook County sheriff's deputy out to pull him over, has finally been charged, the Tillamook newspaper and Portland police officials said today. The announcement comes more than a month after Sothern's arrest.
Sothern, according to the police bureau, has been bumped from the telephone reporting unit and been placed on administrative leave. He's among a handful of officers who have racked up DUII notoriety in recent months. Sothern is accused of speeding away from a deputy in Pacific City on August 18, then turning off the lights on his SUV and trying to hide in the Cape Kiwanda RV Park (it's the one with all the bunnies). When finally arrested, he refused a breath test.
Tillamook County indicted Sothern yesterday on charges of felony attempt to elude, DUII, and two counts of reckless endangerment. The two endangerment counts involve Sothern's wife, who was his passenger, and a Cape Kiwanda security guard.
Portland officials say they won't comment any further on the matter, pending the criminal case as well as an internal investigation. The O's Steve Duin, in case you missed it this summer, wrote a column in which he found the unusually long delay for charges curious, in light of a case back here in Portland that involved Sothern's quick temper.
Read their statement after the cut.
On Friday, September 23, 2011, the Portland Police Bureau placed Officer Sean Sothern on paid administrative leave. This follows the decision by the Tillamook County District Attorney on Thursday, September 22, 2011, to indict Officer Sothern for Felony Attempt to Elude, DUII, and two counts of Reckless Endangerment.
The indictment stems from an incident that occurred on August 18, 2011, when Officer Sothern was off-duty and was arrested by the Tillamook County Sheriff's Office and charged with DUII, Attempting to Elude in a Vehicle, and two counts of Reckless Endangerment. At the time, Sothern was booked into the Tillamook County Jail and was later released after posting bail.
Officer Sothern is an 11-year-veteran and was assigned to Central Precinct at the time of his arrest. Since then, he has been assigned to an off-street assignment in the Telephone Report Unit. Because there is an ongoing criminal investigation as well as an internal PPB investigation, the Police Bureau will not be commenting further on this case until resolution.
As this is an ongoing criminal matter and a there is an active Portland Police Bureau internal investigation there will be no additional details released at this time.