Sunday, January 26, 2014

Would the City of Portland Give Bill Sizemore the Same Deal Offered to Elizabeth Nichols?

MaxRedline highlights an interesting piece of Portland legal politics.

In the aftermath of the Occupy Portland group that took over the Plaza park blocks in October-November of 2011, protesters tried to occupy banks. One of the group who was sprayed with pepper spray, Elizabeth Nichols, sued the City of Portland for use of excessive force.

When a jury decided against her, "[d]eputy city attorney David Landrum said he offered to drop the city's pursuit of costs if Nichols agreed to waive an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals." The costs didn't include City staff time in working on the case.

What a sweet deal. One wonders if the City would have given Bill Sizemore the same chance? (The State of Oregon didn't.) Undoubtedly not, since the City doesn't like Sizemore. Just as the City wouldn't allow a group it didn't like to take over a city park for more than a month--say a group of pro-life supporters. No, those people have to get all the right permits and do everything strictly according to code.

But, the Occupy people were political friends of the City, so rules for regular folks didn't apply to taking over and trashing public property to the tune of $85,000 (not to mention the $1.29 million in police overtime costs) as happened with the Occupy Portland movement.

Apparently the same here. You get a special deal if the City likes your politics. You don't have to pay the real cost of a legal challenge, and if you agree to not press the matter, you don't have to pay anything. Nice work if you can get it, and you can get it if you agree with the politics of City leaders.


OregonGuy said...

Arbitrary and capricious.

The New Standard in law enforcement.

MAX Redline said...

Thanks for the link. And your analysis is spot-on: the city kind of likes folks like "Liz", so she qualifies for special treatment.

Unfortunately, she's a PSU student, so she's too stupid to take them up on the offer.

T. D. said...

OG, yes interesting how being able to choose if you prosecute/punish or not quickly becomes rewarding your friends and punishing your enemies.

Max, I wonder what her attorneys advised her to do. Seems like she thinks they'll continue on in an appeals case. So maybe the lack of common sense extends to the legal team as well.