Effort underway to strengthen Oregon hate-crime laws

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Immigrants, Muslims, people of color, top law enforcement officers and state officials packed into a room to discuss the sharp rise of hate crimes in Oregon, and what to do about it.

The huge turnout Monday night in Portland in the first “listening session” of a state task force on hate crimes showed it has huge support as it aims to help craft legislation to strengthen the state’s hate-crime laws, an organizer said.

More than 100 people packed into a room of Unite Oregon’s offices, 50 percent more that the seating capacity, according to Seemab Hussaini of the intercultural organization.

Hussaini said there has been a 40 percent increase in hate crimes in Oregon over the previous year. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum says that underscores the need for action.

OREGON POLICE SPOKESMAN-INVESTIGATION

Former Oregon State Police spokesman convicted of harassment

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A former public information officer for the Oregon State Police has pleaded guilty to one count of harassment involving his estranged wife.

The Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that a second count of harassment against Capt. Bill Fugate was dismissed as a result of the plea deal.

He was sentenced to two days in jail, two years of probation and he must take a counseling course.

Prosecutors say Fugate violently grabbed the arm of his estranged wife, causing a bruise.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel says he reviewed five other domestic violence allegations against Fugate related to incidents that occurred between 2007 and 2016.

But those alleged crimes fell outside Oregon’s statute of limitations.

Fugate was placed on paid administrative leave last year.