by NW Spotlight
Updated: Oregon Catalyst has now spoken with insiders on this story and reviewed the court record.
In the Troutdale mayor’s race the past of both candidates has recently been brought into the public arena. Allen who is being supported in this non-partisan race by both Democrats and Republicans was accused of animal cruelty over 17 years ago. Allen explains that at the time he was a single parent of two small boys and they had a family dog living inside their house. The original charge was against his roommate while the Allen’s were out of town. A neighbor down the street accused the man Allen rented his master bedroom to of being abusive to their dog. The charge was then expanded to include Allen when the code enforcement officer discovered that the Allen’s didn’t have a dog house. Allen says he didn’t know that a dog house was allegedly required since their dog “Lady” lived and slept in the house with the family and there was outside shelter available.
After pleading not guilty, he had a choice of going to trial for an estimated $8,000 dollars in additional attorney fees, or take an offer from the city to drop the charges, provided Allen split the kennel fee with the city, pay $250 to an animal protection agency or humane society, and do 20 hours of community service at an animal protection agency or humane society. Allen gave his attorney strict instructions that he was not to plea bargain or admit any guilt because the dog was a beloved family member. Allen accepted the city’s offer to drop the charges, but then Allen failed to comply with the 20 hours of community service within 2 months (Allen says he thought he had 2 years). The court record showed that a notice of hearing for noncompliance was sent to Allen’s old address. Allen says he didn’t find out about the hearing until the city called his cell phone, at which time his address was updated and he was notified of a bench warrant for failure to appear. Allen says by that time he had already moved, the expense of hiring a lawyer and the loss of his renter made it impossible for the family to continue to live in their old home. Allen then complied with the 20 hours of service and paid $40 to have the bench warrant recalled.