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The Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights apologized on Monday, August 5, after asking Portland police captain Mark Kruger−previously suspended for building an illegal shrine to Nazi Germany-era soldiers on Rocky Butte—to stay away from a public ceremony last month where he and dozens of other city employees were feted for their work helping immigrants. Equity Director Dante James, in a statement, said his office bowed to the concerns of an unnamed "respected community leader." According to emails obtained by the Mercury, Kruger was alerted the night before the July 26 ceremony. "It was ultimately not the right decision," James said. Staffers for Mayor Charlie Hales, who runs both the equity office and police bureau, were briefed on the back and forth. But Hales' spokesman, when asked if Hales intervened, said the mayor had been out of town. "He has no comment on this." DENIS C. THERIAULT


After winning a string of legal victories and holding a robust hearing on how to improve the city's new arts tax, Mayor Charlie Hales' office is feeling good enough about the beleaguered $35 levy that it won't hold back any of the $6.3 million promised to school districts to pay for art teachers. Earlier this year, to hedge against any court losses challenging the tax's constitutionality, Hales warned he'd only send out some of the money this year. "The consensus here at city hall," spokesman Dana Haynes says, "is that the risk is now low enough, we can revert to the original plan." DCT


John DiLorenzo—the big-name lobbyist helping industrial interests upend Portland City Hall with a proposed public water district—has added another high-profile client to his stable: landlords skeptical of Portland's plans to test for rental housing discrimination. DiLorenzo, working for landlord lobbying group Multifamily NW, sent an extensive records request to the city on July 23 asking how the city's contract partners plan to test landlords and also how those test results would be recorded and transmitted to the city. Similar test results in 2011, showing widespread discrimination against blacks and Latinos, were thrown out after state investigators said they weren't strong enough for further investigation. DCT


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