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3 Ore. jail deputies accused of aiding inmate attacks face new investigation

The Multnomah County corrections deputies are accused of “door popping” so inmates could leave their cells and attack other inmates


Photo/The Oregonian via TNS

By Catalina Gaitán

PORTLAND, Ore. — Three Multnomah County corrections deputies won’t face criminal charges but may face professional discipline after being accused of facilitating assaults, supplying contraband and giving people access to computers and personal cellphones inside downtown Portland’s jail between 2018 and 2020.

Deputies Mirzet Sacirovic, Jorge Troudt and Gustavo Valdovinos have been on paid administrative leave since Sept. 21, 2022, when former Sheriff Mike Reese asked Oregon State Police to investigate the “serious allegations of misconduct” by the deputies, according to a statement Tuesday by Sheriff Nicole Morrisey O’Donnell.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office last fall decided it would not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the deputies engaged in official misconduct at the Multnomah County Detention Center.

In a Nov. 14 memo, Deputy District Attorney JR Ujifusa cited a lack of evidence, the credibility of jail witnesses and the age of the allegations as reasons not to pursue criminal charges against the deputies.

Ujifusa said an investigation by internal affairs at the sheriff’s office or the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training would be more appropriate because they have a lower standard of proof to meet, according to the memo.

Morrisey O’Donnell said Tuesday she had opted for a professional standards investigation and that she would hire an independent investigator to conduct the inquiry.

“The alleged conduct outlined in the Oregon State Police investigative records is egregious and unacceptable,” Morrisey O’Donnell’s statement said. “I will not tolerate conduct of this nature within our organization.”

The sheriff’s office learned of the allegations in April 2022, after two defendants involved in a federal criminal case told investigators that Sacirovic, Troudt and Valdovinos would “door pop” – remotely open cell doors – so people could leave their cells and attack other inmates. The defendants also said the three deputies favored Hoover gang members incarcerated at the jail.

Representatives for the Multnomah County Corrections Deputies Association, the union representing corrections deputies, did not immediately respond Tuesday to inquiries from The Oregonian /OregonLive.

Willamette Week reported in October 2022 that Troudt and Valdovino were disciplined for assaulting inmates at the jail the year prior. The weekly also disclosed the criminal investigation into all three deputies in 2022.

Morrisey O’Donnell said the sheriff’s office has taken measures to improve oversight inside the jail, including replacing and installing new security cameras inside the jail and implementing technology that records when cell doors are remotely opened or closed.

“These measures are building blocks,” her statement said. “I am committed to identifying and implementing strategies to ensure accountability into the future.”

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