Making Their List

Did the Portland Police Bureau steer a minor sex abuse victim to hire former attorney Lori Deveny?

It is certain that the full extent of the forgery and theft allegedly committed by former Portland, Oregon attorney Lori Deveny would be less known had she not been involved in the criminal case brought against prominent real estate broker and activist Terry Bean. That case, brought in 2014 on charges of sex abuse and sodomy, was dismissed because Bean’s minor accuser failed to show up for trial. That minor, known in court filings as “M.S.G.,” claims that Deveny negotiated a financial settlement for him in exchange for his failure to appear.

And the arrangement was going great for almost everybody… until Deveny stole M.S.G.’s settlement money.

Regardless of the propriety of paying one’s way out of criminal charges — especially such serious ones — a more disturbing question looms: How did a head-injury-victim-preying, ambulance-chasing serial fraudster like Lori Deveny come to represent a minor sex abuse victim in an active criminal case?

According to a transcript filed in another case,¹ the answer is that Susan Lehman — an advocate in the Sex Crimes Unit of the Portland Police Bureau — gave M.S.G. a list of attorney names to choose from. M.S.G. stated that he “chose the very top person which happened to be Lori Deveny.”

That sounds perfectly reasonable until one examines the list that Lehman provided to M.S.G., which was obtained directly from the Portland Police Bureau through public records request.

According to the document’s metadata, the list that Lehman gave M.S.G. was created and modified once on November 13, 2014 — just one day before he met with Lori Deveny and signed a retainer agreement with her. The document was also created around the same date that M.S.G. provided testimony about Bean to the grand jury.

Even more problematic, Lori Deveny’s name at the “very top” of the list was carelessly typed in place of another attorney’s, Steve Crew. The link to Crew’s website is still embedded in Deveny’s name.

Deveny is the only attorney on the list with two phone numbers, her cell phone clearly identified, and no email address or website listed. Deveny’s name is also misspelled.

Additional details about Susan Lehman, her list, and the arrangement can be found in the transcript on file — that of a “confidential taped statement” that M.S.G. gave to Portland Police Bureau Detective Jeff Myers in January 2019.

Of particular note is that Lehman told M.S.G. “what a great person [Deveny] was” and advised him that he “was supposed to shake hands.” Of far greater concern is that apparently M.S.G. didn’t understand — in 2015 or 2019 — precisely what he needed an attorney for or why he was being steered toward hiring one:

Transcript of a confidential recorded statement between Portland Police Bureau Detective Jeff Myers and M.S.G.

In that same statement given to Detective Myers, M.S.G. also detailed how Lehman accompanied him to Deveny’s office, where he signed a retainer agreement authorizing Deveny to represent him for “any claims of injury, death, or property damage” against “all responsible parties” arising from the alleged incident of sexual abuse. For her work, Deveny was to receive one third of any amount that she collected for M.S.G.

Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this arrangement is that there is no mention in the transcript of a parent or guardian accompanying M.S.G. to Lori Deveny’s office that day.

It is unclear if it is the Portland Police Bureau’s standard practice to provide minor sex abuse victims with individually hand-crafted lists of attorneys, escort them to the lawyer’s office of their “choosing,” and then fail to fully explain what was happening or why they were there. It is also unclear if it is the Bureau’s usual practice to do those things without an adult guardian present to support and inform a decision that was certain to have lasting consequences for the minor.

The Portland Police Bureau, Susan Lehman, and Lori Deveny (or her attorney) did not respond to my requests for comments for this story.

It strongly appears that this particular list was created by someone at the Portland Police Bureau for the exclusive purpose of being given to M.S.G., to steer him to Lori Deveny, the name at the very top. We should all question why someone at the Portland Police would do such a thing.

¹ The transcript was attached to a declaration filed in the criminal case brought against Bean’s former attorney, Derek Ashton. See Lane County Circuit Court case 19CR71031.