Portland Police Chief: ‘Procedural Issues’ With Original Gore Investigation

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July 1, 2010 12:34 pm
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Portland Police Chief Michael Reese just released a statement on the Al Gore sexual assault allegations saying there were “procedural issues” with the original investigation that merited re-opening the case.

“In reviewing this case, we have determined there were procedural issues with the 2009 investigation that merit re-opening the case,” Reese said. “There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward.”

Remember, the police declined to pursue an investigation of the 2006 incident after a 2009 interview with the woman who accused Gore of sexual assault, Molly Hagerty. At the time they cited “insufficient evidence.” But now Reese appears to be saying that call should have been made at a higher level of the department.Here’s what Reese has to say about how the investigation will unfold:

“It is our responsibility to both parties involved to conduct a thorough, fair and timely investigation. As with any open investigation, it is inappropriate for the Police Bureau to comment on any specifics regarding the investigation. We ask for the public’s patience as we let the facts of the investigation guide us and ensure the integrity of the investigation. I have asked Detectives to assign appropriate resources in the interest of conducting a complete investigation in an expedited manner.”

The full statement is below.

STATEMENT ON THE INVESTIGATION REGARDING AL GORE

In an ongoing effort to be fully transparent and responsive to media inquiries regarding the
investigation concerning Al Gore, Chief Michael Reese has issued the following statement to clarify the actions of the Portland Police Bureau:

The case concerning allegations against Al Gore began in 2006, when an attorney representing the woman involved contacted the Portland Police Bureau. Detectives arranged to meet with the woman on three different occasions. All of these meetings were cancelled by the woman’s attorney. Detectives were then told by her attorney that the woman was pursuing civil litigation. The District Attorney was consulted, but without the woman’s cooperation, the case was cleared.

In 2009, the woman involved asked Portland Police Detectives to take her statement. She read a prepared statement and a Detective asked follow-up questions. The Police Bureau did not contact Mr. Gore, nor did it refer the case to the District Attorney at that time.

In June 2010, when a national tabloid published a story, the Police Bureau received public records requests for the police reports regarding these allegations. In accordance with public records law and because it was a closed investigation, the Police Bureau released those redacted reports.

In reviewing this case, we have determined there were procedural issues with the 2009
investigation that merit re-opening the case. There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward.

The decision to re-open the case was solely made by the Portland Police Bureau. It is our
responsibility to both parties involved to conduct a thorough, fair and timely investigation. As with any open investigation, it is inappropriate for the Police Bureau to comment on any
specifics regarding the investigation. We ask for the public’s patience as we let the facts of the investigation guide us and ensure the integrity of the investigation. I have asked Detectives to assign appropriate resources in the interest of conducting a complete investigation in an expedited manner.

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