- Reporting officer(s): John Umenhofer
- Year: 2013
- Agency: Springfield Police
- State: Oregon
Sgt. John Umenhofer spent years bringing all types of misconduct to supervisors’ attention – including an officer having sex in an undercover car in a parking lot where children were present and a SWAT team member bragging that he’d gotten away with murder after he killed an unarmed 15-year-old, he alleged in a lawsuit. Umenhofer claimed the department retaliated by refusing to dispatch SWAT on two occasions when he was confronted by mentally ill suspects with high-powered weapons. Neither the city manager nor the mayor helped him, the suit says.
Umenhofer finally reported his concerns and shared his evidence with the city manager, who handed it over to the very supervisors he’d accused of misconduct, the suit says. After that, Umenhofer said he went to the mayor, who in turn kicked it back down to the city manager.
Umenhofer went on leave due to stress. The chief resigned amid an investigation that he was having an affair with a subordinate on city time – something Umenhofer had earlier reported, the suit alleges. Umenhofer tried to return to work after a new chief was hired, but the new chief urged him to retire instead. Umenhofer declined and requested a transfer to the district attorney’s office, the DEA task force, or the jail. Instead, he was offered jobs as a janitor or a librarian, the suit says. When he declined to take them, he was fired. After he filed suit, his firing was changed to retirement. He also was paid $250,000.