Parole board psychologist fired after lie

Dr. Frank Colistro told KOIN 6 News he was shot twice, but later said that was a lie

Frank Colistro, an influential Portland psychologist, told KOIN 6 News he was shot twice in the line of duty, but now admits that was a lie, July 14, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Frank Colistro, an influential Portland psychologist, told KOIN 6 News he was shot twice in the line of duty, but now admits that was a lie, July 14, 2014. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Dr. Frank Colistro, a high-profile psychologist in the Portland area, will no longer be under contract with Oregon’s parole board following an admission of deceit.

Colistro was given a 30-day notice of termination from the Oregon Board of Parole & Post-Prison Supervision on July 21, exactly one week after he told KOIN 6 News anchor Dan Tilkin he had not, in fact, been shot while on an assignment with a hostage negotiation team.

The board’s executive director Brenda Carney confirmed Tuesday Colistro, one of only five contracted psychologists responsible for evaluating inmates for potential release, will no longer be working with them after Aug. 25. She did not immediately divulge why Colistro had been fired.

During a sit down interview in April, Colistro told Tilkin he was shot on two separate occasions while trying to talk armed men out of their homes.

“I’ve been really lucky,” Colistro said at the time. “In fact the butt one was an AK, so it was a steel-penetrating bullet. You know if you’re gonna get shot, that’s what you want to get shot with, because they don’t even slow down. If they don’t hit anything vital, just in and out. Boom. And it cauterized the wound. I didn’t even have to go to the hospital, I went home.”

When Tilkin learned Oregon State Police had no record of Colistro ever being shot, he revisited the claims with the veteran psychologist, who confessed to fabricating the story. Colistro also indicated he had told the lie before.

“I guess I have a big ego. I guess when I’m off the air, when I’m casual, I embellish my life,” Colistro said, despite telling the same story in front of a KOIN camera.

Asked how he might diagnose himself, Colistro called himself “an average guy who does what average guys do.”

 

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