Portland fining feds for unpermitted fence near courthouse
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Commissioner Chloe Eudaly said Tuesday the city is fining the federal government $500 every 15 minutes until it removes an unpermitted fence blocking a bike lane on a street near the federal courthouse.
Eudaly oversees the transportation bureau and said Tuesday the government hasn’t responded to her demand to remove the fence, which surrounds part of the courthouse, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
She said the bill is now $192,000 “and counting.” The fence has become the focal point of nightly protests as ongoing marches and demonstrations devoted to racial justice and curbing police violence escalated in recent days with the arrival of federal law enforcement teams.
The charges come as the Trump administration announced Monday it would send additional federal officers to Portland. Also Monday, Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty called for a “cease-fire” amid the ongoing crisis.
Eudaly said that transportation crews would normally “remove such an obstruction,” but she would not “send workers into harm’s way” to do so.
“Yes, I am afraid to direct workers to do their job and enforce our laws against the federal government—I hope that gives everyone reading this pause,” she said.
Last week, the transportation bureau issued a cease-and-desist letter to the federal government. She said Tuesday that she’s received no response.
According to the bureau’s rules, it can assess a $500 fee for obstructing the public right of way without a permit and levy that charge every 15 minutes, hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.