Leonard says no to police commissioner post

Leonard says no to police commissioner post »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. – It’s no mystery that Sam Adams will be Portland’s new mayor in 2009.

The big question now: who will be in charge of Portland’s police?

The job was supposed to go to long-serving city commissioner Randy Leonard, but after a long and contentious relationship with the police bureau, Leonard is passing on the job.

"I had a pretty good life before this started, I’d like to get back to that," Leonard told KATU News after announcing he was passing on the police commissioner position.

Leonard said the position and process had become too politicized.

"I  just don't think it should be about that. I think it should be about civilian oversight," he added.

Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer and Commissioner Leonard have had a well-publicized tiff over the past few months, including the bureau's refusal to enforce the "no parade tape" ordinance, which was strongly supported by Leonard.

Leonard says he's moved past the dispute. Chief Sizer was out of town Wednesday and was not available for comment.

Mayor-elect Sam Adams said he was disappointed that Leonard was passing on the post but could understand his actions following "the Hell he’s been through over these past few months."

Leonard admitted he "was allowing my ego get in the way a little bit" in considering the police commissioners post and decided to pull back.

Adams said he thought Leonard "would have made a great police commissioner."

The head of the police union said he was surprised to hear of Leonard’s choice and is curious who Adams will suggest take the post.