Son Of Mayoral Aide Released From Jail
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ The son of a top aide to Mayor Bud Clark who refused to testify before a grand jury was released from jail Friday evening after prosecutors said they were dropping their investigation of the man’s father.
Circuit Judge James R. Ellis had sent Jeffrey Steffey to jail Thursday after the Oregon Court of Appeals denied Steffey’s request to remain free while appealing a contempt-of-court ruling.
Steffey, 22, was held in contempt for repeatedly refusing to answer a grand jury’s questions about allegations his father, J. Daniel Steffey, was involved in cocaine trafficking.
″I don’t feel that a child should be forced to testify against his parents,″ Steffey said before Thursday’s hearing. Asked how long he’d be willing to remain behind bars, Steffey said, ″As long as it takes.″
Deputy District Attorney John C. Bradley asked Ellis to release Steffey because the case was no longer before the grand jury. Bradley said he withdrew the case because the younger Steffey refused to cooperate.
″I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Steffey would probably be willing to spend six months in jail to protect his father,″ Bradley said. ″There was no more useful purpose in pressuring Jeffrey Steffey to testify.″
Police are continuing their investigation, he said.
Portland police have been investigating Steffey’s father for several months on allegations he was involved in a cocaine transaction in his home in late 1983 or early 1984, about a year before he joined Clark’s staff.
The elder Steffey, 43, took a paid leave from his job April 3 as one of Clark’s top administrative aides. He has been primarily responsible for developing the mayor’s programs to care for Portland’s homeless.
A statement issued Friday by Clark’s office did not address Steffey’s future.
″We’re extremely pleased that there has been no indictment of Dan Steffey and the matter has been withdrawn from the grand jury,″ the statement said. ″The mayor will have no further comment until Monday.″