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Improper criminal investigation leads to suit

Criminal investigations can be intense. They can intrude on every part of a person's life. Often times these investigations can continue for some time which can end up negatively effecting people's jobs, families and social lives. Sometimes, these criminal investigations lead to criminal charges, however, sometimes law enforcement officials do not find what they are searching for.

Recently, a man settled with the Oregon Department of Justice for its actions during a criminal investigation in 2010. During this investigation, the DOJ believed that the man -- a former director for the Oregon Energy Department -- had improperly transferred money to a construction firm partially owned by Former Governor Kitzhaber's girlfriend. According to investigators, the man and other Energy Department officials had improperly steered a contract worth $60,000 to a firm owned by the woman. Each official was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

Eventually, no evidence of the crime was found and no charges were brought. Following the investigation, the man sued the DOJ for violating his rights. According to the man, and his attorneys, the DOJ had tampered with witnesses and had withheld public records during the investigation. This case recently settled for $1 million. In the settlement the DOJ did not admit to any wrongdoing.

This case highlights the importance of an aggressive criminal defense from the beginning of a criminal investigation. Every Oregonian has certain criminal rights that must be upheld during any criminal investigation. If these rights are violated, charges could be dropped.

A criminal defense also allows people to do as much investigatory work as the police. By having the right criminal defense from the beginning, people can gather evidence of their innocence just like police are gathering evidence against them. People need to be as aggressive as police or they can face very serious penalties.

Source: Willamette Week, "State Agrees to Pay $1 Million to Mark Long to Settle Oregon Energy Department Investigation Case," Aug. 7, 2013

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