Six previously unlicensed nightclub security staffers may be forced to spend this week picking up litter, after a community court judge surprised everyone—even the cops who cited them—with stiff sentences.
On July 22, Portland Police cited 15 downtown security staffers for not having official state certification. But Downtown Street Crimes Sergeant Chris Davis, who issued the citations as part of an ongoing police crackdown on the district, said the sting was meant to ensure that the guards got trained, not punished.
Unfortunately for the bouncers, Multnomah Community Court Judge Steven R. Evans ignored the wishes of downtown police that the citations be dismissed—stunning each of them instead with eight hours of community service to be completed by this Friday, September 15.
At a hearing on Monday, August 21, Evans told six of those cited that they were guilty and should plead so, in order to avoid the maximum penalty of $1,250. After the men pled guilty on his advice, he sentenced them to community service.
Sergeant Davis told the Mercury last month, "If the staff show up certified for their court date, we'll ask the court to dismiss the citations." (see "ID Check," News, Aug 3)
However, according to Barracuda boss Dan Lenzen and some of the guards involved, they tried to plead not guilty, but were rebuffed. "They pled not guilty, but the judge told them, 'No, you've got to plead this way.' I'm upset," Lenzen says.
Nick Flowers, VIP security manager at the Barracuda nightclub on NW 2nd, was one of those affected.
"I'm like, that's bullshit, because the cops told us if we got certified, they'd drop it," he said. "I'm a little mad, because I just showed up for work, and now I have to miss out on work and money to clean up graffiti or whatever."
Since the sentencing, Sergeant Davis has met with Judge Evans to discuss the matter, but to no avail. "He's not interested at all in assisting us with our objectives," Davis says.