Who needs terrorists when we have city employees like this?

Somewhat ironically, Elise Marshall is the assistant director for the city's Office of Emergency Management (OEM)--the group in charge of responding to a terrorism attack. One would hope that such a position would call for a cool head and a steady hand. But apparently Marshall's temper has flared up in the past months.

According to police reports, they received a 9-1-1 call from Marshall's home. The caller simply said "ouch" and hung up. Responding to the peculiar call, police arrived at Marshall's home. But she refused to let them in. She also claimed no one else was inside.

In spite of her assurance that no one else was home, when officers investigated the house a few minutes later they found her 45-year-old boyfriend curled up in the corner of a dark room. His T-shirt was torn, his eye was swollen, and he had long scratch marks. He told the investigating officer that Marshall had smacked him.

According to police reports, on the ride to jail, Marshall tried to convince the officers to call higher-ups who could "help out the situation" and "work out a deal" so that she could avoid arrest, a police report, and any pending charges. (They refused.)

As noted in a recent Oregonian report, Marshall's temper reared its head last winter as well, when she and a bicyclist exchanged words. Marshall apparently fired off a string of barbed insults at the cyclist, capping off her tirade with a stern warning: "I'm a city employee and can have you arrested."

But do these reports have the city scrambling to sniff out a rogue within their ranks? When contacted by the Mercury, Miguel Ascarrunz, OEM's director, wasn't terribly concerned. "It hasn't impacted her work performance," he reported. When asked whether any measures had been taken to look into the incidents, Ascarrunz said, "No," but it was because "We've been really busy with the big terrorism exercise." (Last week, the OEM staged a fake bio-terrorism attack to train officers and city employees.)

The mayor's office was a bit more alarmed by Marshall's behavior, and, according to a city hall spokesperson, both the mayor and the head of human resources will examine the incident.