March 2011

Demanding Accountability

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MPD "Abuse"
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By Joseph Snook
Investigative Journalist

Medford, Oregon - A life-long dream of becoming Police Officers has become a nightmare for two Medford brothers who have learned that a lack of integrity isn’t just something criminals have in common. Donald and Jason Libby, owners of Jackson County Security have spent many years encountering harassment from the Medford Police Department (MPD).

In 2010, the harassment turned to false accusations and false citations against the brothers by officers from MPD. Unfortunately for the Libby brothers, the citations and harassment from four team seven officers and a few others have become so excessive since 2010, that they have been forced to seek legal counsel.

In the spring of 97’ the Libby’s became the youngest members of Medford Police Department’s Explorer Program. The Explorer program is chartered through Boy Scouts of America and provides kids seeking a career in law enforcement with hands on training and realistic encounters that help prepare them for future employment in law enforcement. The Libby’s couldn’t wait to become “Police Officers,” and this was their first step towards that dream.

A few years into the Explorer program, Jason Libby began a relationship with another member, Monica, also the daughter of MPD Officer Rob Havice. Don and Jason Libby both state that Officer Havice disapproved of this relationship and caused problems not only for the Libby’s, but within Officer Havice’s own family. As Jason recalled, he remembered one rumor in particular where Havice allegedly told another member of Jason and Don’s Explorer Post; “the Libby brothers were a couple of clowns who shouldn’t be in the program.”

As time passed, more issues arose within the Explorer program. An allegation was made about Jason Libby. Concerned and upset, Jason consulted his mentor, Officer Don Lane of MPD. He was reportedly assured that everything would be fine. No charges ever came of the allegation, but Jason was continuously harassed by MPD Officer Lemhouse, who apparently knew the person making the accusations. The following day, MPD Officer and head of the Explorer program, Corey Schwab called Jason into his office and informed him he was terminated from the program. Don Libby inquired as to why his brother was terminated, but with no success. He also turned in his uniform and the brothers were no longer “Explorers,” after five years of service.

Months later, the Libby’s were denied re-entry to the Explorers due to Officer Havice’s reported disapproval. At this point the Libby’s ventured into other businesses and Jason became engaged to officer Havice’s daughter. After three years of marriage, Jason and Monica divorced, despite having a child together. Jason stated that his relationship with Officer Havice during his marriage was up and down. At one point Officer Havice played on the Libby’s softball team, and another time he reportedly threatened him with physical harm.

Jackson County Security
Jason and Donald Libby

In 2009, the Libby brother’s construction business was in peril due to the poor housing market, so they pursued other work. Jackson County Security was now a reality for the Libby’s. The Libby’s became certified Armed/Unarmed Private Security Professionals through the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training with the State of Oregon and started their new business.

MPD Officers Professional Conduct Questioned

Working in security requires occasional contact with Police, and shortly after Jackson County Security opened for business, the harassment began. MPD Officer Whitman III harassed Jason Libby at his place of employment, for parking his vehicle in two parking spots in a private parking lot. The following weekend at approximately one o’clock in the morning, at the same private parking lot of Jason’s employment, Officer Whitman cited him for parking in a handicap spot while unloading equipment from his trunk.

MPD Officer Wulff
MPD Officer

July 4, 2010 – While attempting to vacate a group of people trespassing at the Medford Medical Eye Center, Jason and Don Libby reportedly had one person from the “crowd” who wouldn’t leave the property. After explaining to this person that he was trespassing, an argument occurred and when physical and verbal threats were made towards Jackson County Security, they placed Ronald Tedford under arrest for disorderly conduct and criminal trespass and called MPD for assistance. MPD Officer Dennis was first on the scene, where he explained to Jackson County Security that it was a busy night. Officer Dennis was citing Tedford for trespass, when MPD Officer Wulff from Team 7 arrived at the scene and decided to take over. After waiting over an hour, MPD Officer’s Reimer and Wulff approached the Libby’s and informed them they were being cited for harassment. While explaining why they were being cited, Officer Wulff stated that he had to be fair and cite both parties. Although the brothers’ actions were completely legal, they were charged with a misdemeanor and Tedford received a violation.

According to police records, Tedford has four prior burglary charges, which are only part of his three page rap sheet. According to the Mail Tribune, Tedford was arrested on a separate occasion for burglary, criminal mischief, and trespass. Deputies reportedly confiscated burglar’s tools and amphetamine from Tedford and his accomplice during his prior arrest.

“Pretty Weird How Cool the Cops Were This Time”

During a recent attempt to make contact with Mr. Tedford, I discovered that his apartment, which was close to the Eye Center, was vacated. After attempting to make contact with other witnesses, I turned a corner and noticed two ladies sitting on their porch, smoking a joint. As I approached them, they quickly put it out. They stated that Ronald Tedford was a good friend, and they were witnesses on the night of July 4. They weren’t too fond of Jackson County Security for arresting Tedford, but stated that MPD officers were “way cool” to them on the night in question. One lady stated that it was “pretty weird how cool the cops were this time.” Weird yes, after the Libby’s, no question whatsoever.

Early January 2011 - While working a separate job, Jason Libby witnessed Officer Whitman III in uniform, staring at him in the parking lot as he exited his place of employment. Days later, his lead supervisor informed Jason that Officer Whitman III was making allegations against Jason and was telling his employer that Jason shouldn’t be working there. Jason called Internal Affairs at MPD to report the incident, and stated that to date, he has not received a returned phone call. This is status quo for MPD Internal Affairs Department – cops protecting bad cops…

“I Originally Hired Jackson County Security,
Because the Police Took Over Two Hours
to Respond to Emergency Calls.”

January 23, 2011 - During an attempt to vacate someone who had failed to pay at a client’s hotel, Don Libby was cited for impersonating a peace officer. Don, along with the hotel manager and owner stated that Debbie Vanos, who was to be vacated, was given notice seventy-two hours prior when the hotel manager informed her that Don was with Jackson County Security.

Earlier that day, the owner of the hotel met with MPD Officer Sgt. Easton, his attorney and the hotel manager to find out how to vacate Vanos. Sgt. Easton reportedly told the hotel owner that since he’d given her seventy-two hours notice, she had until midnight and that his shift ended before then, but the night shift could help if needed. At approximately midnight, the hotel owner had Jackson County Security vacate Vanos from the premises and she reportedly left without any altercations.

At approximately 5:00 am, Vanos allegedly began calling Donald Libby and harassing him, making threats of suing him and stated she contacted MPD and they gave her his phone number and let her back in the room. Don contacted the hotel manager and confirmed that Vanos was back in the room and that the Sheriff’s department was en route since MPD wouldn’t do anything.

MPD Jumps into Bed with
Known Prostitute and Illegal Drug User?

Don went to the scene to assist the Sheriff and upon arrival, was informed that Vanos had unauthorized guests in her room. Don, along with the hotel manager told the guests to leave, since they weren’t authorized to be there. Vanos then called MPD. MPD Sgt. Ianieri and Officer Reimer arrived on the scene and Don was cited for impersonating a peace officer. Don was told by Officer Reimer that Vanos and two of her friends stated that three Jackson County Security Officers identified themselves as police officers and that was the reason for the citation. I should note that during the course of our investigation, there were allegations that Vanos and others staying at the room were involved with illegal drugs.

“I Was Present and Personally Informed
Ms. Vanos That Donald Libby was a Jackson County Security Officer.”

Despite statements from the hotel owner, manager, and security officer Don Libby that he never impersonated a police officer, Don was still issued a citation, which is a felony charge. It was also reported that another witness stated after the incident that she only went along with what Vanos said because she didn’t have a place to stay and thought her statement would allow her to remain in the room.

Career Criminal Debbie Vanos?

Debbie Vanos
Debbie Vanos

According to credible information obtained, Vanos has an EXTENSIVE twenty-two, yes, twenty-two page rap-sheet with crimes committed in at least eight states. Vanos’ charges range from over twenty-five arrests for prostitution, felony conviction for fleeing police in Minnesota, numerous controlled substance charges, numerous battery on a police officer charges, bribery, burglary, and get this; unlawful possession of a hotel key in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Vanos was arrested in Medford on January 25, 2011 for Disorderly Conduct during an altercation at the Hotel in which she was allowed to stay after MPD refused to vacate her from the premises for non-payment, stating it was a “Civil” issue. According to records, Vanos was also cited for forcible entry and interfering with making a police report.

Vanos went to trial on February 11, 2011 before the hotel owner could “Legally” vacate her for over four weeks of non-payment. It was reported that the presiding judge gave her four extra days to vacate the hotel after the trial ended.

“I Was Laughed At By Dispatch
When Attempting to Call on Police for an Emergency
Because of My Accent.”

While questioning the hotel owner, he stated that not only did MPD officers insinuate that he was to let Vanos stay in the room, he stated that they were intimidating, unprofessional and threatening in how they conducted themselves. He said that other hotel owners had complained to him about MPD’s night shift being unreasonable. He stated that he’d had enough and was thinking about taking legal action. He also stated that MPD wouldn’t enforce the law and they cited Jackson County Security for upholding the law. The Hotel owner explained, “I have a business to run and will do what is necessary to protect myself and my business.”

MPD Knowingly Files False Charges

Since the citation for impersonating a peace officer was issued, Don and Jason said that they and their employees have been followed by MPD on numerous occasions. Don was recently pulled over and cited for a faulty license plate light, and more recently, Jason was cited for talking on his cell phone while using his vehicle in the capacity of his employment, which is completely legal according to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 811.507, clause g.

Other reports indicate that an argument between MPD Sergeant Mak and one of the Libbys took place regarding the Libby’s alleged harassment charge on July 4, 2010, wherein Sgt. Mak asked, “What did you do to bring these actions upon yourself?” We have received information that Sgt. Mak has a family member who owns Maksimum Security in Medford - This company is in direct competition with Jackson County Security…

The Libby’s have received threatening emails, phone calls and text messages. It is more than apparent that the Libby’s, who had reportedly never broken the law and never had a criminal charge, all of a sudden have a lengthy record, since starting their security business.

Don and Jason Libby have not only been harassed, cited for a felony, a misdemeanor, and minor traffic infractions, officer Havice’s daughter, also Jason’s former wife, told him recently that he and his brother were going to lose their business. Don was suspended by the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training on February 8, 2011, jeopardizing his income and future employment as part owner of Jackson County Security. This confirms the warning from Jason’s ex-wife.

MPD Police Chief Randy Schoen
MPD Police Chief - Randy Schoen

Medford Police Chief, Randy Schoen has his work cut out for him as a few of his officers are adversely affecting the image of his entire department. If he fails to act, both he and MPD will experience the same bad publicity they encountered several years ago from the Medford Mail Tribune and the US~Observer.

Jackson County Security Officers, brothers and once highly enthused Explorers, who dreamed of being police officers, are now fighting back against the few MPD Officers who have all but ruined their business, and clean-records.

Editor’s Note: Don Libby stated that his court date has been postponed and he hasn’t been formally charged by Jackson County’s District Attorney for “Impersonating a Peace Officer.” The Libby’s stated they aren’t waiting any longer and have sent a letter of intent to file a civil lawsuit against MPD. Don and Jason Libby’s tragic story shows exactly how a few bad cops can make an entire police department appear dirty and corrupt.

Anyone with information regarding this case is urged to contact the US~Observer at 541-474-7885. All calls are strictly confidential.

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