Gushwa vows to sue DOJ


Umatilla Couty District Attorney Dean Gushwa said he will sue the Oregon Department of Justice in federal court following his arrest Friday.

In August, Gushwa took a leave of absence while the DOJ investigated him after an employee in his office reported him for a sex crime. Wednesday the DOJ charged Gushwa with five counts of official misconduct, accusing him of using his office to obtain sex and of trying to cover it up. The offense is a misdemeanor in Oregon.

Gushwa has maintained he is innocent and has said the DOJ’s charges are baseless.

Friday night, Gushwa said he had planned to return to his office next week because the justice department had concluded its investigation. Gushwa said he had sent that message in a letter to Oregon Attorney General John Kroger.

Then Friday at 6 p.m., Pendleton police arrested Gushwa on a probable cause affidavit based on the official misconduct charges.

“It’s an abuse of the arrest process,” Gushwa said.

Police booked him into the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton, then released him. Gushwa said a condition of his release is that he can’t go near the Umatilla County Courthouse, the building that houses the office of the district attorney. Thus, he can’t return to work.

Gushwa said there was no reason for the arrest because the DOJ will arraign him later in November. The arrest, Gushwa said, was simply a move to keep him from doing his job.

Gushwa said he will file a trot claim against the DOJ. He said the arrest also was a violation of his civil rights.

“I intend to sue, federally,” Gushwa said.

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