Captain Mark Kruger, the Portland cop who confessed to curating a shrine to Nazi-era German soldiers, is very effective at making a statement. A big, bold, intimidating statement.
The Oregonian just reported that Kruger, who works in East Precinct, is under investigation for publicly posting a city letter that cleared him of harassing a former underling and—this is important—writing the otherwise anonymous complainant's last name on the letter in big red marker lettering despite an admonition to not retaliate.
Posting the letter and outing the employee so publicly could very well be seen as intimidation—and qualify, for real this time, as harassment. The O got hold of photos that reportedly were passed around by concerned workers a couple of weeks ago and made their way into the hands of the chief's office and the employee outed, former Lieutenant Kristy Galvan.
It's just the latest swirl in a soap opera that's been bubbling for months while raising questions about sexism and favoritism while reminding everyone that the upper echelons of the police bureau can be a weird, and weirdly political, place to work.
Galvan, who filed a tort claim notice with the city this year, has already announced plans to sue Kruger, complaining that he was sexist in his treatment of her when he was her boss. Galvan, who was a probationary lieutenant, is on sick leave and has since been demoted by Chief Mike Reese back down to a sergeant, as the O has reported.
The drama first came to light after it claimed the job of Mike Kuykendall, Reese's right-hand man and bureau's civilian director of financial services. Kuykendall resigned after he was caught exchanging joky text messages with Galvan that called Kruger a Nazi and tried to console her about her issues with Kruger. The text messages were never meant for Kruger's eyes, but he was the one who made them public—his lawyer included them in a tort claim notice warning the bureau he'd sue for slander.
Oh, and how did Kruger's lawyer get those text messages? That's a good question. Attorney Sean Riddell says he obtained them from the Portland Police Commanding Officers Association. But Galvan's lawyer, Charese Rohny, told me she gave them to internal affairs investigators. Did IA give them to the union? Or did the union have another source?
More drama. And none of it good for Reese or the PPCOA, which the mayor is trying to get rid of.