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TMCNet:  Cornelius police chief placed on paid administrative leave pending internal investigation

[November 09, 2012]

Cornelius police chief placed on paid administrative leave pending internal investigation

Nov 08, 2012 (The Oregonian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Cornelius Police Chief Paul Rubenstein was placed on paid administrative leave Thursday, pending an internal investigation after four police officers brought several allegations against him, according to the city.

In an Oct. 16 letter, four Cornelius officers alleged "ongoing corruption" in the police department and claimed that Rubenstein along with Assistant Chief Joe Noffsinger have covered up officer misconduct and created a "hostile and adversarial work environment." Sgt. Shawn Watts and officers Doug Schuetz, Mark Jansen and Miguel Monico signed the letter.

Rubenstein declined to comment on the letter.

City Manager Rob Drake on Tuesday will announce an interim chief. Until then, Noffsinger will lead the department, according to the city.

The city says it anticipates the internal investigation to last for several weeks.

Following The Oregonian's request for the letter Friday, the city issued a press release Tuesday stating that the Local Government Personnel Institute is helping with the city's investigation. Drake said prior to the request that the city had not planned to release the letter because officials cannot talk about the ongoing investigation.

The letter and subsequent investigation come while the city of Cornelius faces continuing labor strife between police officers and their administration. In September, the police union filed a complaint with the state's Employment Relations Board, citing unfair labor practices.

-- Rebecca Woolington Follow @rwoolington ___ (c)2012 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) Visit The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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