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ONLY ON NBC15: Oregon Police Chief retires, former officer speaks out

By: Max Hess - Email
By: Max Hess - Email

In April of this year, the Department of Justice told village officials they were investigating Oregon Police Chief Doug Pettit.

At the same time Village President Steve Staton started a local investigation.

"Our investigation is complete, it's been done for three or four weeks now," Staton said via phone.

The investigation is summed up in a 5-page release by the village.

"Pettit and sev=ral officers worked at liquor license establishments, Chief Pettit worked a lot at the union sports club, which was kind of an entertainment dance club type thing," Staton said.

The local investigation found that officers acted as security guards off-duty, under direction of the Chief, and paid by him in cash -- tax free.

"Basically they were acting like police officers," Staton said, adding "they wore uniforms and all the stuff that goes with the uniform, there was a village laptop computer there, squad cars would be driven up there."

The local investigation also found the Chief hid a 2012 raid by the Department of Revenue, commanded department members to do work for off-duty tasks, failed to report violent activity at the union sports club, and removed data from logs to protect their liquor license.

Dean Atkinson worked under Pettit from 1985 to 1993, and spoke with NBC15 about his experiences during that time.

Atkinson said the Chief asked him to do things he was uncomfortable with.

"He was reminding me that he was the Chief, and was basically making the innuendos that I better do what he says, even if it was something a little questionable."

Atkinson, back then with a wife and kids, says he didn't want to bite the hand that fed him.

"It was my experience that individuals that stood up to the Chief would be retaliated against," he said.

Pettit did not answer the door when NBC15 went to the home he was last listed in.

Although not forced, Staton explained Pettit will retire from the department, effective September 1.

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