WHO'S THE ROTTENEST? A few weeks ago, the Mercury profiled two officers, Sgt. Mark Kruger and Officer Jeff Myers. It was our first-ever "Portland's Most Rotten Cop" contest. Kruger has been at the center of several recent controversies, not to mention the named defendant in three lawsuits for brutality. Kruger, who is reported to have a penchant for wearing Nazi uniforms, is accused of dragging a peaceful protester by her hair through a city park and for rough-handling a protester at last March's anti-war demonstrations. These actions have both been caught on film.

On the other hand, Myers is a desk jockey who has masterminded plans to sweep public lands clear of homeless men and women, and who has tried to cancel Tri-Met service to the zoo, an action that the Zoobombers believe is directed at them. (In a 7-5 vote, the Sylvan-Highlands Neighborhood Association rejected Myers' suggestion.)

Certainly the Mercury recognizes the hard and diligent work by the vast majority of the city's men and women in blue. But we also believe that officers who are named defendants for brutality should be excluded from patrolling demonstrations. Such actions and implicit support only creates a friction between citizens and the entire police force. Okay, enough pontificating. Here are the results for "Portland's Most Rotten Cop!" Drum roll, please!

With 86 votes, Mark Kruger is the runaway winner! While Jeff Myers gathered an impressive 37 complaints, those votes were only enough for him to place third. What? Yes, Mayor Vera Katz, the commander for the police force, wedged herself into second place. Congratulations, mayor! Another trophy for your mantle!

But there were also some surprise write-in votes: Officer Suttle received nine write-in votes, after being accused of routinely hassling protesters. Officer Scott McCollister, who shot a 21-year-old black woman during a routine traffic stop last May, also received 8 write-in votes.

Police in Tacoma and Eugene both received nominations. "Try the Eugene Police," wrote one reader, "now THAT is a police department with pigs so evil, they make you want to convert to any religion--just so you can pray they'll go to Hell."

And, two mayoral candidates also received nods. Tom Potter was called "the worst kind of cop--one who thinks he should be mayor!" And even Phil Busse received a nomination, written in bold letters, "It's not 'your' city," referring to his campaign slogan. PHIL BUSSE