Police Union Leader Steps Aside Again
Still no word on his ‘mistake’ regarding Hardesty
4/6/2021, 12:42 p.m.
(AP) — The former head of Portland’s police union has left his role on the Bureau of Fire & Police Disability & Retirement board.
Officer Brian Hunzeker resigned as a board trustee Friday hours after Mayor Ted Wheeler asked him to do so in a letter, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
The mayor chairs the disability and retirement board.
“I have appreciated the opportunity to serve,” Hunzeker, who had held the position since 2016, wrote in a two-sentence email to Wheeler.
Last month, Hunzeker abruptly resigned as head of the Portland Police Association, citing a “serious, isolated mistake” in connection to a leaked report that erroneously identified Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as the suspect in a minor hit-and run crash.
Hunzeker has declined to disclose any details of the mistake, even after Wheeler — who also serves as the city’s police commissioner — demanded he do so.
The city has since launched investigations into the leak, which was apparently intended to damage Hardesty, the first Black woman elected to the Portland City Council and a longtime Portland police critic.
A broader outside probe of potential political and racial bias within the police bureau will also be done.
The disability and retirement bureau provides Portland police officers and firefighters pensions and assistance for on-the-job injuries. The bureau will conduct an election for Hunzeker’s successor.
Hunzeker joined the Police Bureau in 2000 and became union president last fall. He is currently assigned to patrol in the city’s North Precinct.