We can now confirm that a commenter's post identifying the subject of a recent Mercury story as a sex offender is true.
David Neel, a union organizer, was fired from his job at a call center run by the Fund for the Public Interest, Inc., in part, he claims, because of his union organizing but also because he accused his boss of using his position of authority “to bed down girls." The boss was the subject of a lone state complaint that was never followed up on, but never faced charges. But the Mercury has since confirmed Neel is a registered sex offender.
In 2005, Neel was convicted of statutory rape in Multnomah County for having sex with a 15-year-old. He was 28 years old. In the same year, Neel was also convicted of raping his now ex-wife. This time, the conviction was in Linn County. Previously, in 2000, Neel was convicted of sexual abuse in Benton County. The Mercury has not seen court documentation about this event. But according to a friend of Neel's who spoke to Portland police during the Multnomah County investigation, Neel kissed his children’s underage babysitter. From the records we tracked down, it’s unclear what punishment he received for this charge.
For his two 2005 convictions Neel was sentenced to 18 months for each to be served consecutively. He was out of prison by 2007. He then underwent two years of post-prison supervision, which included court-mandated therapy for sexual addiction.
On the night of Wednesday February 27, shortly after the first comment was posted, I called Neel and asked him about his past. For the most part he came clean. After reviewing his records, it’s now clear Neel left some salient and embarrassing details to himself—including his Linn County conviction, and some of the more despicable facts from the police report detailing his seduction of the 15-year-old.
During our conversation, Neel held back his tears and apologized profusely for not mentioning his past when we first talked. He told me, he spent the first 28 years of his life as “a total fucktard.”
Mr. Neel, I totally agree.