Tuesday, March 1, 2016

University of Oregon's police chief leaves post abruptly

The Associated Press
February 29, 2016

The University of Oregon has announced the sudden resignation of its police chief, Carolyn McDermed, who will leave a department that in recent years has brought unwelcome attention to the university.

In a message to campus on Monday, the university’s associate vice president for safety and risk services, AndrĂ© Le Duc, confirmed that Ms. McDermed had “announced her retirement.” The news was first reported Friday night, when the university confirmed in a short statement to local media outlets that Ms. McDermed would resign.

In 2015 a federal jury awarded $755,000 to a former University of Oregon police officer who alleged that Ms. McDermed and a lieutenant had retaliated against him after he blew the whistle on mismanagement and a vulgar atmosphere in the department. Infamously, according to the former officer, James Cleavenger, members of the department kept a lengthy list of people who should “eat a bowl of” a certain part of the male anatomy. The university has appealed that ruling.

In the message Monday, Mr. Le Duc said the department had “evolved significantly in recent years” and Chief McDermed had “played a significant role in managing that change.”

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