Commissioner ‘mad’ about fire captain’s third DUII

Future of Fire Capt. Robert Hutchens' career is up in the air

Fire Capt. Robert Hutchens was convicted of his third DUII. February 3, 2015 (Clatsop County)
Fire Capt. Robert Hutchens was convicted of his third DUII. February 3, 2015 (Clatsop County)

NORTHEAST PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — City Commissioner Dan Saltzman told KOIN 6 News Tuesday he is upset a Portland fire captain is still on the job after his third DUII conviction.

Northeast Portland Fire Station #13 Captain Robert Hutchens most recently struck a car on Highway 26 near The Oregon Coast.

But this is new territory for fire and city officials — Comissioner Saltzman told KOIN 6 News the convicted fire captain could receive something as small as a letter in his file, or be fired for his actions.

“To my understanding this has never happened before,” Portland Fire Chief Erin Janssens said. “We hold firefighters to a higher standard, so now that a conviction has occurred it will allow us to conduct our own investigation.”

Commissioner Saltzman told KOIN 6 News he was not Fire Comissioner during Hutchens’ first two DUII convictions, and he cannot comment on why he wasn’t disciplined for those arrests.

“I am as mad as residents are that a firefighter can have three convictions and have his kids in his car in his most recent accident,” Saltzman said.

Chief Janssens said she and Comissioner Saltzman met Tuesday to discuss the future of Hutchens’ employment.

“Firefighters are people,” Janssens said. “We are sorting out how we address these issues and ensure this does not happen and that we are responsible to taxpayers and we keep people safe both on and off duty.”

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