ASTORIA, Ore. — An independent assessment determined an Oregon police department was torn apart by failures in leadership and undermined by politics, discord, conflict and staffing shortages that weakened morale under its former chief.

The Daily Astorian reports ( ) the assessment concluded the Astoria Police Department had been at a “point of a crisis” under former chief Brad Johnston who retired earlier this month.

Astoria City Manager Brett Estes asked a Portland labor attorney to direct an assessment of the police department’s leadership.

Estes says he was briefed on the assessment’s findings and the investigation prior to Johnston’s Aug. 2 retirement. He says Johnston was also aware of the findings before his retirement and he did not ask Johnston to step down.

Johnston explains on Facebook his abrupt departure was “sudden, but necessary.”

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