'Unfortunately at the end of his career he made a mistake'

'Unfortunately at the end of his career he made a mistake'

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Many in the Springfield community were surprised when former Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith announced his retirement back in March. 

While some didn’t understand why Smith left after 43 years in law enforcement, Springfield City Manager Gino Grimaldi said a leaked surveillance video that caught him kissing a subordinate in the department might have prompted his retirement.

“Knowing that you've worked with him for so long … it was a surprise. A surprise and a big disappointment,” said Grimaldi.

Grimaldi said someone mailed him a DVD of surveillance camera footage showing Smith kissing a subordinate he worked with in the department. The anonymous person mailed the same DVD to the Department of Police Standards and Training in Salem and a Springfield City Councilor.

Grimaldi said the recording was sent out just a day or two before Police Chief Smith retired. 

“It’s pretty clear when you see the video that somebody was doing some surveillance and intentionally photographing,” Grimaldi said. "That's an inappropriate relationship to have because you have somebody that has power over the employee that they're having the relationship with and that's untenable."

Smith made many fantastic contributions to the community, and Grimaldi said they will not be forgotten.

“Unfortunately at the end of his career he made a mistake," said Grimaldi.

Our news team tried contacting Jerry Smith for a statement, but the attempts were unsuccessful.