04/12/2006

Portland, Ore., police chief put on leave

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore.- The police chief was put on paid leave Tuesday as the city investigated allegations surrounding his relationship with a former desk clerk.

Chief Derrick Foxworth has acknowledged a "brief, but intense" relationship with the woman before he became chief in 2003.

Angela Oswalt, a 10-year civilian employee who reported to Foxworth, said in court papers that she felt her job could be in danger if she did not acquiesce to Foxworth and keep the relationship secret.

Foxworth has denied threatening Oswalt.

Oswalt said she intends to sue the city in court papers, which include graphic e-mails the chief allegedly to sent to her.

Foxworth denies Oswalt's claims that he used public resources _ including police-issued e-mail addresses, telephones and pagers _ to communicate with her.

"The intense interest in this investigation is distracting the bureau from its primary mission and may erode the confidence and trust I believe that are essential to that mission," said Mayor Tom Potter, who placed Foxworth on leave effective immediately.

Potter named Rosie Sizer, a precinct commander, as interim police chief.

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