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June 19th, 2002 Nick Budnick | News Stories
 

Cop 'n' an Attitude

     
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Gina Hoesly (pictured) was always seen as an unconventional cop. But her ties to felon Joshua Rodriguez, may cross the line.
Portland Police Officer Gina Hoesly has dated her share of high-profile guys, ranging from Assistant Chief Andrew Kirkland to former Portland Trail Blazer Jerome Kersey to Robbie Merrill, bass guitarist from the rock band Godsmack.

But the ex-boyfriend she'd undoubtedly most like to forget is a low-level felon named Joshua David Rodriguez.

Last Wednesday, a Police Bureau press release announced Hoesly's indictment on drug charges. The indictment accuses Hoesly of using methamphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy since 1999. Law-enforcement sources speculate that the case against her will be highly circumstantial--so much so that police have taken samples of Hoesly's hair to analyze for drugs, WW has learned. Other evidence reportedly focuses on traces of drug residue allegedly found at her Northeast Portland home, as well as testimony from people who claim they saw her doing drugs with Rodriguez, who has a long history of arrests for drugs and theft.

Hoesly has long had a singular reputation within the Police Bureau, thanks to her dating history as well as to her scantily clad appearance in a photo on the website badpig.com, which sells leather goods to motorcyclists.

She is also a member of a de facto community of dissident cops who have in the past spoken out against the bureau's actions, and some colleagues privately suspect she was targeted for her history of blowing the whistle. In 1996, Hoesly won a $20,000 sexual-harassment settlement from the city, and since then she has testified on behalf of Damon Woodcock, a transsexual cop who sought a stress disability from the city, and on behalf of Balzer's, a rap club the Police Bureau was trying to shut down.

Hoesly would not comment on last week's indictment, but two months ago, when contacted by WW about the rumor that she was the target of drug charges, she denied any drug use and said she may have become a target for other reasons. She said she was preparing to blow the whistle on corruption among a group of officers at the Portland Police Bureau she likened to the wide-ranging Rampart police-corruption case Los Angeles. While refusing to elaborate, Hoesly indicated that the allegations were serious, saying, "You think the Rampart scandal was bad."

Hoesly's defense will likely focus on Rodriguez, who has at least two drug convictions in his past, and against whom Hoesly filed for a restraining order in January. According to court records, Hoesly said she had started to suspect him of being a drug dealer in December, and when she found what appeared to be heroin at his apartment on Christmas Eve, he assaulted her and subsequently began "stalking her." According to a Jan. 28 police report, when officers approached Rodriguez he resisted arrest and was carted off to jail--where sheriff's deputies found methamphetamine in his pocket. Hoesly, who was out on disability at the time of her arrest, is expected to argue that the residue allegedly found at her house actually stemmed from his drug use, not hers.

According to Police Bureau scuttlebutt, Hoesly has told her co-workers that detectives pressured Rodriguez to give evidence against her. But Stacy Heyworth, the senior deputy district attorney who reviewed the Rodriguez case, says there was no attempt to pressure Rodriguez to testify. And Mark McDonnell, the prosecutor on the Hoesly case, told WW, "I don't think [Rodriguez] has anything to do with this case." While he is aware of the perception that Hoesly was targeted, he says, "I haven't seen any evidence of that."

 
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