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Dugan eyes Redmond chief job; Mercato on the market and more 

dugan, bend, redmond

Former Deschutes County District Attorney Mike Dugan found himself in the limelight again this the last week when it was reported that Dugan has thrown his hat into the ring for Redmond's top law enforcement job. Dugan has been between jobs since he was defeated in the Democratic primary last May by one of his former chief deputies, Patrick Flaherty.

The Redmond position would allow Dugan to reenter the world of local law enforcement. The city, however, has said that it is requiring all of its candidates to have a law enforcement certificate - something that Dugan, despite 20 years of prosecution experience, does not possess. Dugan told The Bulletin that he has already contacted Redmond city officials about the issue and been told not to withdraw on that basis.

This is the second time that Dugan has publicly acknowledged that he is interested in another law enforcement job. Dugan announced late last year that he was seeking an appointment as a special prosecutor on the Pacific Island of Palau. He did not receive the appointment.

Closer to home, the Redmond job would allow Dugan to take advantage of his local law enforcement knowledge and contacts. If hired, Dugan would inherit a department that is currently under serious scrutiny over allegations that one of its veteran officers stole guns and other weapons from the department's evidence cache and resold them - in some cases, to allegedly unwitting fellow officers. The department has suspended the suspect, Lt. Larry Prince , while state police investigate the allegations. Prince has already been charged with more than 35 counts of theft, official misconduct and forgery.

Redmond Mayor George Endicott has acknowledged that there wasn't adequate oversight of the department's evidence room. That atmosphere presumably allowed Prince to operate for years without arousing suspicion. However, the police chief job opening is unrelated to the Prince case. Redmond's former chief, Lane Roberts, left last year for a job in Olympia, Washington.

On a related topic, Dugan got a not-so-nice farewell gift from his former employer when Deschutes County posted the results of a recent audit of Dugan's department on the county's website. The audit found that, under Dugan's leadership, the D.A.'s office overpaid for witness' expenses, including lodging, meals and travel costs. The audit also found that Dugan's office failed to seek competitive bids for a copier contract worth more than $40,000, as required by county policy. Dugan has defended his office's practices, particularly in relation to witness expenses, which he said allowed economically disenfranchised witnesses to provide important evidence in criminal cases. In some cases, witnesses were provided with more than $600 worth of expenses, including meals and lodging. By way of contrast, state law requires only that witnesses be reimbursed $5 for expenses and 10 cents per mile for travel. Not sure about the copier bids, but we're with Dugan on this one. We'll take a criminal off the streets in exchange for a hotel bill any day of the week.

Shot in the Dark

It appears as though the Stephen Trono river development era has drawn to a close before it ever really got started. Trono, the real estate developer who scooped up the former Brooks-Scanlon crane shed property from a group of investors that illegally demolished the historic building under the cover of darkness, has reportedly put the still undeveloped crane shed property back on the market as a short sale. According to various news reports, Trono paid more than $4 million for the property in 2005 when Bend real estate was still red hot. At the time, Trono announced plans for a 33,000-square-foot, multistory, mixed-use development that included some 50 condominium units. The project, which Trono dubbed The Mercato, is one of several retail and condominium efforts that floundered during the real estate bust, along with several downtown projects. While Trono's financial difficulties with Mercato have been well documented, it was a more recent domestic incident that has grabbed headlines as of late after Trono's wife, Angelicque, shot him five times in their home. Trono said his wife mistook him for an intruder and shot him with a gun that he bought for her protection after she was assaulted in a public bathroom.

Road Tax Vote Ahead

In a special May election, Bend voters will have a chance to decide whether they're willing to trade lower taxes for more traffic congestion. City Councilors last week approved a plan that would essentially swap a downtown revitalization tax that expires next year for a new street tax. If approved, the street levy is expected to generate almost $30 million that would fund a backlog of street improvement and upgrades that are needed to serve the past decade's worth of population growth. Councilors decided last Wednesday to target a majority of that money on Reed Market Road, which has been vexed by traffic problems for years. If approved, the tax would amount to an additional $47 in property taxes for the owner of a property valued at $175,000 after the downtown improvement levy expires - though taxpayers would essentially see no difference in their annual bills, as one tax replaces another.

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