The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, January 25, 2018, Page 3A, Image 22

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Feds threaten Oregon over sanctuary Man who slammed
Grant funding
at stake in fight
Capital Bureau
SALEM — The U.S.
Department of Justice has
threatened to subpoena local
officials and confiscate federal
criminal justice funding from
Oregon and 22 other jurisdic-
tions if they continue to refuse
to assist authorities in enforc-
ing federal immigration law.
The letter was sent to the
states of Oregon, California
and Illinois and certain cit-
ies and counties in those three
states and in the states of Ken-
tucky, Florida, Mississippi,
Massachusetts, New York,
New Mexico, Vermont and
Federal authorities contend
that the jurisdictions’ policies
may violate federal law and
conditions of Edward Byrne
Memorial Justice Assistance
Grant funding, a primary source
of federal funding for state and
local law enforcement agencies,
including police and sheriff’s
Oregon law prohibits law
enforcement officers from
sharing information with
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is critical of cities and
states, including Oregon, that adopt immigration sanctu-
ary policies.
federal authorities or using
state resources to help with
the apprehension of undocu-
mented residents in the state.
Gov. Kate Brown defended
the state’s sanctuary laws and
said she would uphold them.
“Oregon will not be bul-
lied by a Trump administra-
tion that is focused on divid-
ing our country,” Brown said
in a statement. “Oregon’s
laws are in place to uphold
the civil rights of all Orego-
nians, and the federal gov-
ernment cannot, under the
U.S. Constitution, force state
law enforcement officers to
implement the policies of this
Federal officials remain
concerned that Oregon’s laws,
policies and practices may
violate conditions of fed-
eral grant funding, Jon Adler,
director of the U.S. Bureau of
Justice Assistance, wrote in a
letter Wednesday.
Adler requested that state
officials send the Department
of Justice several documents
related to the state’s sanctuary
status by Feb. 23.
“The department fully
young son against
door jamb going to
prison for 7½ years
anticipates your complete
cooperation in this matter,”
Adler wrote. “Should you fail
to respond in a complete and
timely manner, the depart-
ment will subpoena these doc-
uments …”
If the state refuses to pro-
vide the documents, Adler
threatened to seek the return
of all Edward Byrne Memo-
rial Justice Assistance Grant
funding awarded to the state in
2016 and deem the state ineli-
gible to receive funding for the
current year. Oregon receives
about $4 million in Byrne Jus-
tice Assistance Grant funding
every two years, according to
the governor’s office.
New requirements of
the grants bar local govern-
ments from enacting laws that
restrict communication with
federal authorities about indi-
viduals’ citizenship status.
U.S. Attorney General Jeff
Sessions has said that sanc-
tuary policies jeopardize the
safety of Americans.
“Jurisdictions that adopt
so-called ‘sanctuary policies’
also adopt the view that the
protection of criminal aliens is
more important than the pro-
tection of law-abiding citizens
and of the rule of law,” he said
in a statement in November.
The Daily Astorian
A man who rammed
his young son’s head into a
door jamb in 2016 was sen-
tenced Wednesday to 7 1/2
years in prison after violating
The boy was 1 year old
when the crime was commit-
ted. Nathan Anthony Fitzger-
ald wanted to punish his son
because he was upset that
the child spilled ranch dress-
ing on him, Deputy District
Attorney Dawn Buzzard said.
Fitzgerald, 28, was con-
victed last summer of sec-
ond-degree assault and
attempt to commit a Class
B felony in connection with
the case. Fitzgerald was later
sentenced to 60 months of
probation for the assault
charge but agreed — as part
of a plea deal with the dis-
trict attorney’s office — to a
7 1/2-year prison sentence if
he violated probation.
Fitzgerald’s most recent
known address is in Scap-
poose. During an appoint-
ment with the Columbia
County Department of Com-
munity Justice in October, he
walked out after being told
he needed to provide a urine
sample, according to court
documents. A warrant was
later issued for his arrest.
The second charge for
which he was convicted —
originally attempted assault
— was based on another inci-
dent in 2016. Fitzgerald cov-
ered the child’s mouth with his
hand, attempting to impede
his breathing after he began
making noise. Fitzgerald was
sentenced to eight months in
jail for that conviction.
Fitzgerald originally was
also charged with third-de-
Audit: Oregon ‘must do more’ disaster prep
Capital Bureau
SALEM — Oregon lacks
enough staff, planning and
accountability to effectively
handle a catastrophic disas-
ter such as the looming Cas-
cadia earthquake, state audi-
tors found.
“Officials at all levels
of state government have
begun laying the necessary
foundation, but these efforts
have not gone far enough to
fully protect Oregon from
the worst-case scenario,”
auditors wrote. “ … Too
many basic elements for a
well-functioning program are
still missing.”
Oregon is at risk of both
recurring disasters, such as
flooding and wildfires, as
well as catastrophic disasters,
such as an act of terror or vol-
canic eruption.
And scientists have said
in recent years that there is
now a higher probability that
a high-magnitude earthquake
— referred to as a Cascadia
Subduction Zone event —
will strike Oregon, Washing-
ton state and British Colum-
bia in the next 50 years.
The state’s Office of Emer-
gency Management and the
governor’s office are respon-
sible for coordinating and
managing Oregon’s response
to a natural disaster or other
large-scale emergency.
Other state agencies and
local governments also play
a role. State agencies have
been designated to support
the Office of Emergency
Management, and each
county is required by state
law to have an emergency
management program. Cit-
ies can also “opt in” to the
program. However, the audit
also found that these entities’
Danny Miller/The Daily Astorian
that Oregon will take steps to
resolve deficiencies identified
in the exercise.”
• There’s not enough
emergency management staff.
Previous requests for more
staff haven’t been filled by
the Legislature, and the lack
of staff hampers the Office of
Emergency’s Management’s
ability to do its job.
• State emergency response
buildings are not seismically
sound. While some buildings,
such as the military depart-
ment’s Anderson Readiness
Center, are being retrofitted,
and backup buildings have
been identified, the state’s
office hasn’t practiced oper-
ating from the backup sites,
some of which aren’t seismi-
cally sound, either.
• A 50-year resilience plan,
created in 2013 to address the
state’s ability to respond to a
catastrophic disaster, doesn’t
Judge refuses to dismiss $1 billion
timber class action filed by counties
Capital Press
A judge has refused to dis-
miss a class-action lawsuit
seeking more than $1 billion
from Oregon’s government
for insufficient logging of
state forestlands.
Linn County filed a com-
plaint in 2016 accusing Ore-
gon’s forest managers of
breaching a contract to max-
imize timber harvests from
forests donated to the state by
county governments.
According to the lawsuit,
Oregon began prioritizing
environmental protection and
recreational values over log-
ging due to a policy change
in 1998.
The lawsuit was certi-
fied as a class action by Linn
County Circuit Judge Dan-
iel Murphy, which effectively
included 14 counties and
more than 100 taxing districts
as plaintiffs in the case. Clat-
sop County commissioners
voted to opt out of the lawsuit.
Attorneys for Oregon
raised several grounds for
dismissing the lawsuit that
have now been rejected by
The judge has ruled against
the state on a particularly con-
troversial point that’s resur-
faced several times during the
litigation: Whether the doc-
trine of sovereign immunity
prohibits county governments
from suing the state.
Initially, Murphy allowed
the case to proceed despite
the state’s sovereign immu-
nity claim, but later issued a
ruling that it’s a valid defense.
The judge withdrew that
opinion and has now again
rejected Oregon’s motion
to dismiss, referencing his
original ruling that counties
can enforce their contract
rights against the state gov-
ernment in court under these
“He’s back to where he’s
historically been in the case,”
said John DiLorenzo, attor-
ney for the county plaintiffs.
As part of the ruling, the
judge also threw out Ore-
gon’s argument that counties
can’t seek to “maximize tim-
ber revenues” because that
term wasn’t included in their
Oregon’s government is
required to manage the forest-
land for the “greatest perma-
nent value,” but this term is
ambiguous and may be inter-
preted based on the circum-
stances under which the con-
tract was made, Murphy said.
accountability measures to
ensure that progress is made.
The state also has a dedicated
state resilience officer, who
auditors said would benefit
from more “long-term strat-
egies, tracking, public report-
ing and clearly defined roles
and responsibilities” as well.
Unless the state takes steps
to improve these emergency
preparedness measures, state
auditors are warning that “the
effects of a catastrophic event
could be even more severe.”
The state’s Office of
and the office of Gov. Kate
Brown largely concurred with
auditors recommendations.
Brown, however, said in a let-
ter to auditors that the respon-
sibilities of the state resil-
ience officer were already
clearly defined.
The Capital Bureau is a
collaboration between EO
Media Group and Pamplin
Media Group.
gree assault — for assaulting
a child under the age of 10
— and strangulation before
agreeing to the plea deal.
Based on witness testimony
and the injuries sustained by
the child, officials believe
Fitzgerald also covered his
mouth with a pillow in a sep-
arate incident, Buzzard said.
The man’s wife, who wit-
nessed the incidents, dis-
cussed what she saw with
her friend, an off-duty nurse.
“It’s difficult sometimes for
people to talk to police about
crimes committed by their
spouses,” Buzzard said.
Following state law, the
nurse reported the incidents
to the Department of Human
Services, Buzzard said.
When representatives from
the department spoke to Fitz-
gerald, he said a mark on the
child’s forehead sustained in
the attack was only a rash.
“They see a lot of things
and get lied to a lot, but this
could have ended badly,”
Buzzard said.
But after hearing about the
case, Seaside Detective Guy
Knight interviewed Fitzger-
ald’s wife, who then detailed
the crimes. By June of 2016,
Fitzgerald was indicted.
“It’s a pretty extraordinary
case,” Buzzard said. “Without
Detective Guy Knight follow-
ing up on it, we could have
ended up with a dead kid.”
A state audit found the state has failed to correct gaps identified during Cascadia Rising,
a 2016 emergency response drill.
preparedness for an emer-
gency were insufficient.
The Oregon Secretary of
State’s Office, in an audit
released Thursday morning,
laid out a slate of ways the
state could improve.
Here’s what auditors
• Oregon’s
management program doesn’t
meet basic federal standards.
That means top officials will
not have all the informa-
tion they need to respond to
a disaster, and that the state
may miss out on millions of
dollars in federal emergency
response funding.
• The state has failed to
correct gaps identified during
a 2016 emergency response
drill, Cascadia Rising, that
was meant to evaluate the
state’s emergency response
effort to a simulated Casca-
dia earthquake and tsunami.
Since the plan is incomplete,
“the public has no assurance
Nathan Anthony Fitzgerald
T he D aily a sTorian ’ s
c utest B aBy c ontest
If your baby was born
January 1st &
December 31st , 2017 ,
you can submit your
newborn’s picture either
via email at:
classifieds @ dailyastorian . com
or drop by one of our offices in Astoria or
Seaside and we can scan in the photo for you.
Deadline to enter is
Thursday, January 25 th at 5 pm
Entries will be printed in The Daily Astorian
on January 31st.
*Human babies only please!*
ANY 16oz
9AM - 11AM
5PM - 7PM
Offer good at Seaside location only. Everyday in January 2018!
1545 N. Roosevelt • 503-738-5405