Westmoreland Police Re-Hire Amanda Wolfe Despite Assault Conviction

Westmoreland Police Re-Hire Amanda Wolfe Despite Assault Conviction

The Westmoreland City Council voted to re-hire former Westmoreland Police Officer Amanda Lynn Wolfe despite the fact that she was convicted of assaulting a suspect in her custody and was caught on camera trying to cover up the crime by telling a fellow officer to turn off her body camera. That officer turned off her body camera, but because she had a conscience she blew the whistle and got Wolfe held accountable. Keeping Wolfe cost the former police chief his job and shows just how low law enforcements standards are for their own.

In the video below you can see body camera footage of Amanda Wolfe leading up to the assault of the suspect in her custody. She is clearly not happy with him and instructs the other officer to turn off her camera. That officer was Elizabeth Lehner. Fortunately for the victim and the community, Lehner conducted herself the way that a police officer is supposed to by holding her fellow officer accountable under the laws that they both swore to enforce. This would have made Officer Lehner a strong candidate for Officer of the Year in our opinion. Unfortunately, holding Officer Wolfe accountable was not all that it should have been. Wolfe was allowed to enter into a diversion program which was basically like a term of probation during which she had to meet conditions such as completing anger management classes after which her record was expunged. Westmoreland Police Chief Steven Jolley asked that she be rehired on the grounds that like any person whose record has been expunged she is no longer technically a convicted criminal.

Jolley got the job after former Westmoreland Police Chief Ray Amalfitano resigned over the Amanda Wolfe scandal. During the scandal mainstream media outlets learned that Amalfitano had also been convicted of assaulting a suspect in his custody. At that time Amalfitano was Chief of the Lafayette Police Department and like Wolfe lost his job for being convicted of assaulting a suspect, was allowed to enter a plea of judicial diversion, and had his record expunged once the diversion was completed. After his record was expunged he was hired as Westmoreland Police Chief. After Wolfe was ratted out for assaulting her victim, Amalfitano allowed her to remain employed with his department as an animal control officer. In February the Westmoreland City Council voted 3-2 that Wolfe should be allowed to keep working as an animal control officer despite having been convicted of assault even though her record had not yet been expunged. At that same meeting the City Council accepted Amalfitano’s resignation. Amalfitano was obviously concerned that getting fired might keep him from being hired elsewhere, so resigning was his best option. At the time of his resignation he claimed to have already been offered a new job with the Portland Police Bureau.

We checked the Oregon Criminal Justice Information Records Inquiry System (CJ IRIS) to see if Amalfitano is in fact working as a law enforcement officer in the state of Oregon and found zero results for anyone by the last name of Amalfitano (http://dpsstnet.state.or.us/PublicInquiry_CJ/SMSGoPersonLkp.aspx?LkpBy=LN&LkpVal=Amalfitano). That means that Ray Amalfitano does not have the required Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) license required to work as a police officer in Oregon. That does not however mean that Portland decided not to hire Amalfitano. It could mean that they hired him and he is in some sort of post hiring pre-work purgatory that exists for officers after they are hired and before they receive their DPSST certification. His only mention on GovSalaries is a 2018 listing from the City of Westmoreland under the name Raphael Amalfitano (https://govsalaries.com/amalfitano-raphael-12523594), but GovSalaries is usually a couple years out of date, so that does not mean that he is not employed by the city of Portland at this time. Officers like Amalfitano are what we call Gypsy Cops because they move from city to city to avoid accountability. Gypsy Cops are enabled by a lack of communication between departments and policies that treat all officers that are allowed to resign as if they resigned under positive circumstances.

Conclusion

Amanda Wolfe and Ray Amalfitano are not qualified to be police officers, but are permitted to keep working because the government is too soft on their own. It is doubtful that either one of them could have become police officers in the first place with their own records, but the desire of law enforcement to protect their own is such that they slap each other on their wrists when they don’t turn blind eyes at the expense public safety.

Published at Fri, 20 Nov 2020 17:10:44 +0000

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