Prineville officials to receive Bush report

Investigation of police chief has stretched more than six months

By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin

A full report detailing the investigation into Prineville Police Chief Eric Bush should be delivered to city officials late next week, according to the head of the organization conducting the investigation.

Diana Moffat, executive director of the Local Government Personnel Institute, said investigators were completing their final draft on Friday.

Monday, Moffat and the institute’s in-house attorney will review the report to make sure it is complete and mistake free, she said, before forwarding it to Prineville City Hall.

“We never change any findings or anything like that, we just look for any red flags,” she said. “But who knows how long this sucker’s gonna be? So it could take him a little bit.”

The Local Government Personnel Institute is a Salem-based organization created by the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties that provides assistance to local governments on personnel issues.

Bush, a member of the Prineville police force since 1990 and its chief since 2003, was placed on paid administrative leave in late September.

City officials have said little about what led to the decision to place him on leave and ask the institute to investigate, beyond describing it as a “personnel matter” unrelated to Bush’s conduct as a law enforcement officer.

Capt. Michael Boyd has served as interim chief since Bush was put on leave.

Prineville city officials did not respond to a public records request filed Thursday seeking information on how much the city has paid Bush while on leave, and any overtime costs that may have been incurred because of his absence. Prineville City Attorney Carl Dutli did not reply to an email sent Friday seeking reaction to the news the investigation has been completed.

Moffat said Prineville should receive a bill for the investigation in May. She said the organization charges $140 an hour for investigatory services, but she was not sure what the city’s final bill will be.

In addition to his duties with the Prineville police, Bush is a brigadier general with the Oregon Army National Guard. He served 14 months in Iraq in 2009 and 2010, earning the Bronze Star and the combat infantry badge.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387, shammers@bendbulletin.com