The lawyer for Scott Stephens, Bob Dunn, said the move was based on erroneous assertions that Stephens was so upset over his demotion that he said he was going to get his weapon.
Stephens was interim chief for nine months last year after the departure of Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. He was replaced by Frank Straub in October and became assistant chief. He was informed in December he would be demoted to captain.
The Spokesman-Review reported that Dunn's comments Tuesday were the first public explanation why Stephens was placed on leave in December.
On Monday, Mayor David Condon announced the city hired a retired judge to investigate Stephens.
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