PORTLAND (AP) – A Portland police lieutenant who pleaded guilty to drunken driving has been suspended from the force for three months, Chief Michael Chitwood said Friday.

Lt. Ted Ross, whose blood-alcohol level was 0.20 percent when he was involved in a traffic accident after an office Christmas party, was sentenced in court to 48 hours in jail, a $400 fine and loss of his driver’s license for 90 days.

Ross also had faced punishment within the department, which Chitwood said could have ranged from dismissal to an oral reprimand.

The chief said he elected to impose a 90-day unpaid suspension after consulting with high-ranking police officials and the department’s lawyer.

Chitwood said he based his decision on what was best for the department. “No matter what I do, I’m going to be criticized out in the community,” he said.

An 18-year veteran of the department, Ross will retain his rank of lieutenant when he returns to duty June 29. But he will be shifted from his post as head of the detective bureau and will likely be assigned to command one of the patrol divisions.

Ross had been on paid administrative leave prior to his guilty plea.

AP-ES-04-18-03 1338EDT

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