LEONARD IN JAIL
City Commissioner Randy Leonard spent last Wednesday night, November 28, in jail—on the invitation of sheriff's deputies at the Multnomah County Detention Center on SW 3rd. Leonard says, "I was struck by the understaffing" in the city-funded 57-bed Project 57 unit. "It struck me as very dangerous."
Leonard spoke with County Chair Ted Wheeler, and 36 hours after Leonard's visit, County Chair Ted Wheeler said he wants the county to take over management of the jail from Sheriff Bernie Giusto's office. Wheeler's announcement follows recent allegations of prisoner mistreatment at the jail. MATT DAVIS
In October, anti-gay activists attempting to force a referendum vote on two new gay rights measures failed to turn in enough signatures to put domestic partnerships and a non-discrimination law on the ballot. Undeterred, the groups—Concerned Oregonians and Defense of Marriage and Family Again—protested, saying that the Oregon Elections Division and county clerks tossed out legit signatures. (If five signatures were validated, the referendum petition on domestic partnerships could have qualified for the ballot.)
On Monday, December 3, the groups—along with the conservative Alliance Defense Fund—filed the suit in federal court, asking the court to reinstate signatures that were "improperly excluded," and send the referendum to the ballot. AMY J. RUIZ