The Portland Police Bureau has just released a statement “in an ongoing effort to be fully transparent and responsive to media inquiries regarding the investigation concerning Al Gore.” In the statement, chief Michael Reese says police never contacted Gore, nor did they contact the District Attorney’s office when accuser Molly Hagerty told her story to detectives in January 2009. Instead, the police closed the case without investigation. Now, Reese admits that was a mistake. “There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward.”
Police did contact the District Attorney’s office in late 2006 and early 2007, when Hagerty’s lawyer first got in touch with investigators. But at that time, Hagerty refused to tell her story, so there was little authorities could do. Then, when Hagerty told her story — in great detail — police did nothing. Only now, after the National Enquirer reported the story, have they re-opened the case. Here is Reese’s entire statement:
The case concerning allegations against Al Gore began in 2006, when an attorney representing the woman involved contacted the Portland Police Bureau. Detectives arranged to meet with the woman on three different occasions. All of these meetings were cancelled by the woman’s attorney. Detectives were then told by her attorney that the woman was pursuing civil litigation. The District Attorney was consulted, but without the woman’s cooperation, the case was cleared.
In 2009, the woman involved asked Portland Police Detectives to take her statement. She read a prepared statement and a Detective asked follow-up questions. The Police Bureau did not contact Mr. Gore, nor did it refer the case to the District Attorney at that time.
In June 2010, when a national tabloid published a story, the Police Bureau received public records requests for the police reports regarding these allegations. In accordance with public records law and because it was a closed investigation, the Police Bureau released those redacted reports.
In reviewing this case, we have determined there were procedural issues with the 2009 investigation that merit re-opening the case. There should have been command level review at the time on the specifics of this case and decisions on whether the investigation should go forward.
The decision to re-open the case was solely made by the Portland Police Bureau. It is our responsibility to both parties involved to conduct a thorough, fair and timely investigation. As with any open investigation, it is inappropriate for the Police Bureau to comment on any specifics regarding the investigation. We ask for the public’s patience as we let the facts of the investigation guide us and ensure the integrity of the investigation. I have asked Detectives to assign appropriate resources in the interest of conducting a complete investigation in an expedited manner.
A Gore spokeswoman says the former vice president welcomes the re-opened police investigation. “Further investigation into this matter will only benefit Mr. Gore,” says spokeswoman Kalee Kreider. “The Gores cannot comment on every defamatory, misleading, and inaccurate story generated by tabloids. Mr. Gore unequivocally and emphatically denied this accusation when he first learned of its existence three years ago. He stands by that denial.”