Sometimes local government looks just like a big ol' dog chasing its tail. In Oregon's Multnomah County, where Portland is located, our dog often also manages to get hopelessly lost while running in circles. Witness the ongoing mess over Sheriff Bernie Giusto and his shockingly poor management of the county jail.
Giusto is one of those open secrets–every municipality of size seems to have one–a public servant who comports himself in a way that would have caused him to be booted out of any private business long ago.
The Oregonian, Portland Tribune and Willamette Week all keep very close tabs on this seemingly endless scandal. The Trib's latest installment covers a ruling by Multnomah County's top lawyer, who advises that one proposed solution--pushing Giusto out of his jail-manager job via ballot measure--probably won't stand up to a legal test. Too bad, because county voters would surely give him the heave-ho.
The Trib's coverage is also linking to the latest damning report on the Sheriff's doings. The report is just out from the Multnomah County Corrections Grand Jury, which even as it bends over backwards to sound fair, finally has to say that, yes, Giusto's poor leadership has resulted in unreliable crime stats, poor administrative record keeping, demoralized employees, and worst, a clearly reduced capacity to keep the county safe. It's enough to make a dog dizzy, and he still hasn't closed in on that tail.