In this video report the Advocate exposes the truth about Newberg School Board Candidate and Sherwood Oregon Police Officer James Wolfer, and refutes the accusations Wolfer and others have made concerning the investigation that I have conducted into Wolfer’s past employment as a police officer. I also refute the absurd claims that Gary Allen of the Newberg Graphic has made about myself and this newspaper.
Foremost among these false claims is that Wolfer was the victim of a conspiracy due to supposed political ties the suspect he arrested had; a suspect that Wolfer falsely claimed was violent when Wolfer tased him during the arrest. It is crystal clear to anyone observing the body camera footage that Wolfer abused his authority as a police officer during this arrest and used force unlawfully against a non-violent suspect who did not resist arrest and instead was surrendering to Wolfer.
Wolfer has blamed everyone except himself for why he was forced to resign from the Grand Ronde Tribal Police department and while these excuses may work on others, the truth is abundantly clear to anyone who watches the body camera footage objectively.
Watch the video investigation report embedded below for the full unfiltered truth about James Wolfer and those championing him for election as a Newberg School Board candidate.
Update 4/30/2023: I have heard defenders of Wolfer repeatedly claim that Wolfer was “cleared” by Polk County District Attorney and that is why they did not press charges against him over the incident involving Highpine. That is a factually incorrect statement. Per a letter from Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton dated September 28th, 2018 Felton claimed he was not pressing charges against Wolfer for assaulting Highpine only because Felton stated that he believed he lacked sufficient evidence to prove Wolfer’s intentions to assault Highpine beyond a reasonable doubt. He did not agree that Wolfer’s use of force was appropriate and legal, as this is not stated anywhere in the decision.
While I personally disagree with this assessment, it is also important to point out that Felton states in the same letter that if Wolfer was ever called to be a witness for the state in a criminal case in the state of Oregon, the Polk County District Attorney’s office would disclose to the defense’s attorney all materials regarding the investigation into Wolfer’s use of force, including the testimony of his fellow officers who believe Wolfer lied in his reports, that Wolfer violated Grand Ronde’s use of force policies and that Wolfer committed assault against Highpine.
Update 4/16/2023: Here is a long list of documents complied as part of Oregon State Police investigation into James Wolfer’s use of force, where the investigator determined Wolfer committed assault against Highpine. The documents clearly show that Wolfer was terminated by Grand Ronde over the incident with Highpine after determining his use of force was excessive and not in compliance with use of force policies, and also determining he was not honest in his incident report about what transpired.
Click here to read a copy of James Wolfer’s incident report about the arrest featured in the video investigation.
Click here to watch the full video of the arrest from Wolfer’s body camera footage.
Click here to read the minutes of the Oregon Board of Public Safety Standards and Training Police Policy Committee Hearing on February 21, 2019 where the board decided to not revoke Wolfer’s certification over this incident.
Click here to hear the audio recording of this hearing, where it is plainly stated at around 9 minutes that committee members attending the meeting by conference phone had not seen the video. Other members of the committee then make excuses about Wolfer using a taser on a suspect who was posing no danger and surrendering. They claimed Wolfer’s use of force was not a violation of “moral fitness” codes of conduct and Wolfer was allowed to retain his certification. This determination is not consistent with use of force laws for police, as it is illegal for a police officer to taser a suspect who is not posing a threat and it is also illegal to tase a suspect for cursing, as that is an exercise of a person’s freedom of speech. Officers cannot use violence to penalize a suspect’s freedom of speech. Wolfer clearly said he would tase the suspect if he did not shut up.
Proof that James Wolfer has been a member of the Progressive Yamhill extremist group and its subgroup Newberg Equity in Education can be found in a previously published article, Meet the Newberg Mafia, where Wolfer posted under the Facebook account “Jay Wolf”. Furthermore, as a future article will demonstrate, the people involved with Wolfer’s campaign for Newberg School board are involved with Progressive Yamhill, too.
Click here to read the complaint I filed against James Wolfer with the Sherwood Police Department, and see for yourself that Wolfer has lied about what I said in my complaint regarding him.
Proof that Progressive Yamhill members have created a Facebook group specifically to harass me personally in retaliation for my investigation into Wolfer’s background can be viewed by clicking here. The group is still using the same unethical tactics as a means of trying to win elections and bully people who oppose their extremist agendas.
Lastly click here to read a statement about his employment history that James Wolfer submitted to the Yamhill Advocate on March 15th after Wolfer learned of my investigation into him. The details he provides about his employment at Grand Ronde Tribal Police are completely different than what he claimed during his 2019 hearing where he instead claimed he had not been properly trained in how to use a taser.