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Portland police official resigns over texts

Feb 1, 2013

Of the Associated Press

PORTLAND — Portland Police Chief Mike Reese said Friday that Mike Kuykendall will resign as director of services because he sent unprofessional text messages to a subordinate.

The Police Bureau has not disclosed what was said in the text messages. Reese, however, said in a statement that Kuykendall sent inappropriate messages about another member of the Police Bureau to the subordinate. Kuykendall and the unidentified subordinate used their personal cellphones to exchange the texts, the chief said.

“I accepted his decision to resign because I believe the Police Bureau needs to continuously work to meet the goal of achieving the highest possible level of community trust,” Reese said. “This standard must guide our behavior and decision-making processes.”

The director of services oversees the bureau's fiscal, records and support services divisions. The job was handled by a uniformed assistant chief until Reese switched it to a civilian job and hired Kuykendall in 2010.

Kuykendall, a former Multnomah County deputy district attorney and vice president of the Portland Business Alliance, was friends with Reese before he got the post and a member of the same rock band — The Usual Suspects.

“I deeply regret my actions,” Kuykendall said in the statement emailed late Friday afternoon. “I was attempting to use humor to give confidential support to a Bureau member who had come to me with a work-related issue.”

Reese said he could not provide more details because the internal investigation is not over. Daryl Turner, the president of the police union, declined comment for the same reason.

Discussions will begin next week to pick an interim director, said Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Police Bureau spokesman. Kuykendall is expected to remain on the job until the new hire is up to speed.

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