Portland Public Schools hires seasoned investigators to examine sexual misconduct failings

“We expect of the investigation that there will be recommendations for changes in both our policies and practices,” Brim-Edwards said.

The board put the $125,000 cap on the team’s expenses, but voiced interest in authorizing more funds at a later time.

The cap came at board member Amy Kohnstamm’s suggestion. She said she wanted the investigation to be focused on structural change and new policies, considering many of the employees who could be implicated were gone. She noted it was more expensive than the investigation into the district’s 2016 lead in drinking water crisis, done by¬†law firm Stolle Berne, for no more than $65,000.

Brim-Edwards said she suspected this investigation would be more complex than that effort and it could be crucial to dig into the past to better understand the culture that allowed this to happen.

“If you look at the history, he was more likely to prey on children who did not have advocates and I just think it’s a much more difficult investigation potentially,” she said. “I would hate to say we did it on the cheap.”

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