By Don Iler • News Editor • 

Betz reaches settlement with Newberg, will resign

Jacuque Betz
Jacuque Betz

Embattled Newberg City Manager Jacuque Betz will resign from her position after she reached a settlement with the city.

Betz will receive six months’ salary ($58,438.80) and six months of health care cost ($3,336.66) in severance in addition to a $35,000 lump sum from the city’s insurance company. Betz will also agree not to sue the city upon her resignation.

Also as part of Betz’s settlement, the city will continue its independent assessment of the department and will issue the complimentary performance review it was slated to approve the day it placed Betz on leave.

The Newberg City Council discussed the settlement agreement during a closed doors executive session prior to approving the deal. 

ALSO: Reporter removed from executive session

The resignation follows a monthlong scandal engulfing City Hall after Betz placed Newberg Police Chief Brian Casey on leave pending an assessment of the department.

The chain of events began on Wednesday, July 15, when Betz placed Police Chief Brian Casey on paid administrative leave, pending completion of an outside assessment of department operations. 

Betz’s actions were the result of several complaints from 11 current and former officers who leveled numerous complaints against Casey and other unnamed officers in the department. Allegations included: Hostile work environment, verbal abuse, member not meeting firearms qualification requirements, excessive force, modification of a use of force report and modification of a shotgun for personal use. 

On Sunday, July 19, District Attorney Brad Berry asked the Oregon State Police to conduct a criminal investigation into Betz’s suspension of Casey, a lifelong Newberg resident and longtime Newberg chief. Meeting in special session the next morning, the council suspended Betz and named City Attorney Truman Stone, who had been assisting Betz with the police department probe, acting manager. 

Within days, the council replaced Stone with Terry Mahr, who had previously served as city attorney for many years. Mahr moved almost immediately to reinstate Casey, and the council opted to replace the law enforcement expert initially assigned to conduct the police department assessment.

When Betz was subsequently cleared of any criminal misconduct, the council decided that scheduling issues would prevent it from considering her status before its next regular meeting of Aug. 17.

But late Monday evening, the document that triggered Berry’s call for a criminal probe surfaced in the media. It was prepared by Capt. Jeff Kosmicki with the knowledge of his partner at the top of Casey’s command team, Capt. Chris Bolek.

The Kosmicki report was based on four anonymous complaints he solicited from line officers. In the complaints, the officers cited locker room and stationhouse conversations indicating Betz may have engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Jeremy Fair, described by them as a “disgruntled officer.”

According to the report, Fair may have consumed alcohol with Betz at her apartment one night several months ago, following a police ride-along, and he may have taken the opportunity to raise complaints with Betz instead of submitting them through the chain of command. They said the rumor at the station was Fair and Betz were having a relationship, and speculated that Betz might have placed Casey on leave to prevent him from “upholding standards and maintaining accountability concerning Officer Fair.”

While it is remains unclear whether Fair and Betz did indeed have a relationship, or to what extent, duration and effect, Mahr acknowledged at the Wednesday morning press conference, “It is not in direct violation of any of our policies to have a relationship.”

The report Kosmiciki compiled for Berry indicates some in the department were concerned that retired Department of Justice veteran Bill Carroll had been chosen by Betz to conduct the departmental assessment.

Betz consulted with Stone and the city’s insurance carrier before selecting Carroll. But Kosmicki said his focus on alleged morale problems quickly came to rankle command and line officers.

Kosmicki said Carroll asked him if he was aware of any inappropriate activity going on in the department. He said he refused to answer that question, along with others Caroll posed, and Carroll responded by suggesting he was not being very cooperative, Kosmicki said.

Carroll was subsequently replaced by Portland labor lawyer Todd Lyon. Mahr explained that decision by saying, “There were some concerns about that person.”



What a mess. A hard-headed battle between a flaky city manager and a pompous chief of police will cost Newberg just shy of $100,000. Sure, it's just the insurance company but voters will ultimately foot the bill. When a city is staffed with hubristic leaders, its voters will nearly always pay. What a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.


Only $35,000 is coming from the insurance company...the insurance company that is paying a claim on their liability to keep from being sued for so much more. The rest is coming directly from tax funds right now.
She got her settlement. Too bad she lacked the stamina to actually improve things...or maybe it was privately suggested that she should simply go away, considering the players. There are lots of maybe's here - considering her background.
As an added bonus, the council blocked a member of the press from attending an executive session.
This whole situation reeks. And no one will ever know what truly went on.
Documents locked up in delays and fees. Refusal to answer basic questions. Communication taking place behind closed doors.
If it walks like a duck...

Don Iler

The Oregonian's Ian Kullgren was ordered by Mayor Bob Andrews to leave the executive session after Todd Lyons received an email from Betz's attorney Judy Snyder saying she had received an email during the executive session from Kullgren asking if Betz was resigning and if she had any comment.


The Oregon AG Manual specifically states that press does nothing wrong if they are following up on leads gotten by information while attending an executive session.


This is exactly how "transparency" doesn't work.


Say, I could use $100,000. How do you go about becoming a city manager?
Everyone in this entire fiasco looks foolish.


Typical Newberg... A battle of egos with no progress for the city.

Horse with no name

I agree with Angela. Where is the transparency, after all the working stiff's are paying the bills. Don't you just love these employment contracts. Leave your job and get a big ol' severance. All the working stiff's in this state can be fired at the drop of a hat because of "Right to Work law" and look at the other great deal working stiff gets, ya get to pay for all the screw ups, not board members or officials, no they just collect the checks and hide all the dirty laundry. There is more to this than has met the eye and the citizens of Newberg should not let it slide with another settlement.


You seem confused, Horse. "Right to Work" laws have to do with compulsory union membership and the payment of dues. You probably meant to address "at will" employment. They are two very different things.


$100,000 doesn't buy as many Margaritas as it used to.

Horse with no name

Thanks for the clarification Bob. Same net effect to me, working people meaning the majority of people in the United States are "at will" employees. They bleed the blood, pay the bills, struggle to get a living wage and can't hire a lawyer when they get the shaft. That's exactly why there shouldn't be any closed door meetings regarding the public business.

Sal Peralta

Seems to me like she had a legitimate beef with the city and could have gone for much more money had she been looking for a payday. She looks very reasonable asking for 6 months and enough money to relocate given what happened, especially when compared with Tim Heidt, who is suing our city's police department for $3 million.


Sal, I must have missed it, what was her "legitimate beef with the city"?

Was it her "Betz may have engaged in an inappropriate relationship with Jeremy Fair", or what?

Sal Peralta

Kona - It sure looks to me as though the complaints against Betz were initiated by one of the chief's lieutenants who basically sought to smear her in response to her suspension of the chief, which was made on the advice of the city attorney, insurance company, and city's hr department. Before they had gathered any actual facts, the city council suspended Betz and re-instated Casey based on allegations of criminal misconduct by Betz, which turned out to be baseless. There were no prior complaints of poor performance on her part, and whatever personal relations she may have had with someone in the Newberg PD were put forward in the most embarrassing negative light in the hopes that slut-shaming this woman would erode whatever support she may have had on the council.

Of course, I am only privy to whatever details have come out in the press, but I do not think I am badly misreading this.


Sal, so are you suggesting that she should have been retained by the City of Newberg? Or, that this whole fiasco does not have any of her fingerprints? It seems that she initiated all of this.

Sal Peralta

No, I am saying that the city of Newberg got off pretty easy with six months salary and relocation money, especially when you compare these facts to the Tim Heidt lawsuit. We won't know what triggered the complaints against the. Newberg PD until later. It seems unlikely to me that Betz orchestrated a large number of the Newberg PD to initiate a complaint against the chief. I see no benefit to her from such a move.