Former Tualatin Police Officer facing nine criminal charges

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Chet Lemon.
Chet Lemon.

A former Tualatin Police Officer is facing nine separate criminal charges for official misconduct and public indecency following his indictment earlier this year on allegations that he committed those crimes while on duty.

A Washington County Grand Jury indicted former Tualatin Police and School Resource Officer Chet Lemon, 37, on nine misdemeanor counts in July. The indictment charges him with six counts of first-degree official misconduct and three counts of public indecency, all of which were said to have occurred between July 2018 and August 2019. According to multiple media reports, court documents state that the public indecency charges were brought because Lemon allegedly exposed his genitals while in or in view of a public place. 

According to a report from television station KGW, Lemon’s alleged crimes involved adults and had nothing to do with children or his role as a school resource officer. 

The Tualatin Police Department declined to comment on the case or investigation into Lemon’s conduct. 

He was hired by the department in January 2008 and worked both patrol and school resource officer assignments until his resignation in December 2020, when he was hired by the City of King City to become a Sergeant. 

In his resignation letter submitted to Tualatin Police Chief Bill Steele, Lemon wrote, “Please understand that this job offer will allow me to further progress myself and my career within the Law Enforcement profession and I would be contrite if I did not pursue this opportunity.”

However, Lemon never got to don the King City Police uniform or badge. Just three days after his official hire date, and five days before he was scheduled to be sworn in, Tualatin Police notified King City officials that Lemon was under investigation for the conduct that later led to his indictment. He was placed on administrative leave and remained in that status until he was officially fired by King City in July following his indictment. 

“I’m not sure why this information was not presented in the background investigation,” King City City Manager Michael Weston told Tualatin Life. “It’s really an unfortunate situation for everyone. King City really needed the additional help, and instead we remain short staffed.” 

Weston said the City learned about the charges the same day the indictments were made public and came out in court filings. He emphasized that at no prior time was the City aware of the allegations.

“Of course, the investigating agency cannot share any information until the investigation is finished,” he said. “So, we were completely in the dark until it wrapped up.” 

Because Lemon’s case has not been fully adjudicated in court, Weston declined further comment, citing the confidentiality of personnel matters allowed under Oregon law. 

Lemon’s case is also being investigated by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training’s Professional Standards unit, which oversees police officer certification in Oregon. In many cases, officers convicted of criminal offenses will have their certification permanently revoked, although that is not the only course of action available.