Cottage Grove placed the city’s police chief and captain on paid administration Friday as part of an independent investigation. The city is not disclosing the allegations against them or the scope of the investigation.
Cottage Grove Police Chief Scott Shepherd and Capt. Conrad Gagner were placed on paid leave on Friday, Cottage Grove assistant city manager Jake Boone said Monday. They will be kept on leave until the end of the investigation.
Boone declined to comment on the subject of the investigation. “This is the start of the investigation, not the end, so there should be no presumption of wrongdoing against anyone,” he said. “No conclusions have been drawn.”
Boone said outside departments are investigating.
The new temporary chief will be Jeffrey Groth, who retired as Sherwood police chief last year, Boone said. Prior to this position, Groth served as a police officer in Tualatin beginning in the late 1980s. Groth resided in La Pine but will remain in Cottage Grove during his interim, Boone said.
Boone added that the Lane County Sheriff’s Office has agreed to provide assistance as needed during the investigation. The change was first reported by KEZI-TV.
Gagner is the only captain in the department, according to the online staff webpage. The personnel list indicates that there are currently 13 officers and three sergeants.