- Associated Press - Thursday, October 9, 2014

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (AP) - The city of Prineville has agreed to pay the police chief it fired in July more than $666,000 to settle the lawsuit he filed days later.

Eric Bush was put on paid leave and dismissed after an investigation found he had misused city flex time in his dual role with the city and as a brigadier general in the Oregon Army National Guard, and had misused equipment, KTVZ-TV (https://bit.ly/1ycTjNQ) reported.

Bush denied the allegations and sued for $2.5 million. In August, the state attorney general’s office found insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges.

“The city of Prineville has elected not to dispute Eric Bush’s claims in court, and will instead pay him the maximum amount allowed by Oregon law,” Bush’s attorney, Roxanne Farra, said in a statement.

The city has also agreed to pay Bush’s attorney fees and legal costs, she said.

Farra said no amount of money could compensate Bush and his family for the upheaval the city caused.

“This is a powerful statement, however, about the falsity of the city’s accusations against Mr. Bush, and the shameful conduct which it has now chosen not to defend,” she said.

The city said in a statement it was prepared to defend itself, but its insurance company and lawyers wanted to settle.

Farra said Bush’s claim against the Local Government Personnel Institute would continue. The city hired the organization to conduct an outside investigation. Formed by statewide organizations of cities and counties, it provides technical and consulting services on labor relations and human resources.

The city installed former Deschutes County Sheriff Les Stiles as interim chief earlier this year while it looked for a permanent replacement.

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Information from: KTVZ-TV, https://www.ktvz.com/


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