Video of chief sparks police employee investigations

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - After allegations of misconduct surfaced around the retirement of former Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith, the city opened an investigation into two other Springfield PD employees.

Niel Laudati, an official working with the Springfield City Manager's Office, said the surveillance video of Smith and a subordinate prompted them to look into other allegations they received in an anonymous letter nearly a year before.

"What I can tell you is the first two paragraphs are about Jerry Smith, the other two have nothing to do with the former chief," said Laudati.

The letter claimed Smith had affairs with several subordinates and had falsified documents while working for the department, Laudati said. The letter also stated certain employees protected these behaviors in exchange for coveted positions.

City officials said they didn't find any evidence of misconduct when they initially looked into the claims. When the photographs showed up, Laudati said they had to take a second look at the case.

"Now Gino (Grimaldi, Springfield City Manager) knows the truth, that changes the perspective for our city manager on that relationship and on the interactions that first took place when the letter was received," Laudati said. "What people expect us to do is to quickly move through these issues, and that's what we're doing."

The city opened investigations into two Springfield Police Department employees. Laudati said the names of the employees are being withheld during the investigation.

Even with the allegations surrounding the department, city officials said Springfield residents should still have full faith in their police force.

Our reporters could not get ahold of Jerry Smith for comment on the surveillance video.