May 13 2021
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  Hit and Run    

Story by The Oregon Herald Staff
Published on Thursday March 4, 2021 - 5:52 PM

PORTLAND, Oregon - An investigation into an alleged hit-and-run crash involving property damage has revealed that a Portland City Commissioner is not a suspect.

On Wednesday, March 3, 2021 at about 11:24p.m., Portland Police responded to 13300 block of Southeast Stark Street on a report of a hit-and-run crash. The officer learned from the caller that her car had been rear-ended at about 4:48 p.m. near the intersection of Southeast 148th Avenue and East Burnside Street. The vehicle that allegedly struck the victim's car then left the scene without exchanging information as required by Oregon state statute 811.700-Failure to perform duties of driver when property is damaged.

From the information gathered at this time, it seems that the caller erroneously reported that the suspect was City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

The Portland Police say they have ruled out Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as a suspect in the case. The complainant and the Commissioner's office have both been notified.

Below is a comment from Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty addressing today's false allegations.

Today began with an unnecessary burden put on my office to disprove a completely false accusation. Now the Portland Police Bureau has admitted what we knew all along – I was not involved in any way with any hit and run incident and am not a suspect.

While I am relieved to see the truth prevail, this incident brings up a number of urgent questions that I want answers to.

How did this false information get leaked to the Oregonian and fringe right wing media groups?

Why did the Oregonian run this story with no proof to substantiate the false allegation?

Will the 911 call and police report be released to myself and the media?

What was the relationship between the 911 call and the police report?

I'm demanding an investigation so we can get to the bottom of where this smear campaign originated.

I've always said that we can disagree without being disagreeable. This kind of personal attack, based on false accusations that were perpetuated by elements of the media, is hurtful. When I have made mistakes in the past, I have owned it, taken responsibility, and apologized. I hope those that brought this harm to me and my office today will feel compelled to do the same.