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Deschutes prosecutor awaits fate after leaving baby in car


Being the parents of four children, ages 1 to nearly 13, takes a lot of organization and planning. And things can go wrong, in many little or not-so-little ways.

But for Deschutes County Deputy District Attorney Evander McIver, the seemingly typical workday of Thursday, May 30 brought an unforgivable mistake in so many eyes – forgetting and leaving his 1-year-old son in the car when he went to work – that while the prosecutor waits at home to learn his fate, he can only be thankful it was a fairly cool, overcast day, and that others saw and came to the boy’s rescue when he was spotted in the parked car, some five hours later.

McIver, 48, was cited on a misdemeanor charge of second-degree child neglect and placed on paid administrative leave by DA John Hummel. Now, he awaits the outcome of investigations by the state Department of Justice and Department of Human Services.

McIver, who agreed to talk Monday with NewsChannel 21 (though not on camera), said he hasn’t retained an attorney, as he is “not fighting anything” and “not trying to avoid responsibility for what I did. I’m trying to handle this as ethically and honestly as I can.”

When Hummel’s office announced what had happened, the news release also included this statement from McIver:

” As every parent of young children knows, sleep can be hard to come by. Last Thursday, our morning routine changed and after dropping off two children at school, I went straight to work on autopilot and left my son in his car seat in the back of my car. ”

” Thankfully, Bend police responded, and my son is just fine, ” McIver said. ” This is the worst mistake of my life, and I fully realize this could have turned out differently. No matter the fallout with respect to me, I am beyond grateful that my son is happy and healthy. ”

McIver, who goes by ” Van, ” shed a bit more light Monday on how things went so very (but thankfully, not tragically) wrong that day, as he’d been up late with his youngest the night before.

He said his wife, who is also a lawyer, usually takes the boy or his 3-year-old brother (who just turned 4 last Sunday) to day care. But on this day, she had to go in for depositions, which made for a different schedule than usual.

McIver said he got his 12-year-old daughter on the bus to school, and his next-oldest often walks to school, but he wanted a ride that day. After that, he took the 3-year-old to preschool – and then, he said, ” I went straight to work, ” noting about his youngest: ” When he gets in that car seat, he falls asleep. ”

“I hadn’t had coffee,” McIver added – no excuse, of course. ” I’ve been racking my brain to see how this could have happened. I’m not trying to make excuses. ”

In fact, he said, while at work that day, he had called to make arrangements for the 1-year-old to be picked up early from day care. “I was just so certain in my mind that he was at day care.” Soon after the 1:30 p.m. court sessions began, he was interrupted and learned what had happened.

McIver said he hasn’t been able to reach out to the nearby workers who called police after spotting the baby in his car seat. He said he doesn’t know who they are, since he’s been suspended from work and has no access to police reports. In fact, he said, he hasn’t heard from police since the day it happened.

” That very day, when I got my son, I was so shook up, I couldn’t put him back in the car. I just walked home with him, a mile and a half. I haven’t spoken with police since then, ” he said. ” The police told me he was smiling and laughing at the police lights. I think he took a long nap. ”

McIver said he’s ” well aware of the dangers of this. I’m mortified. I’m not making light of it. I was just so thankful it was an overcast day. If someone would have asked me two weeks ago, would I forget my kid in the car? I would have told them, ‘You’re crazy.’ ”

“DHS has come by and done a home inspection, looked in the fridge, interviewed my wife, interviewed my ex-wife,” he said. The Bend DHS office began that investigation, he said, but handed off to Klamath County, because he works with the local DHS office as a prosecutor, and that poses a conflict of interest. “I imagine DOJ is going to wait” for the DHS reports, he said, before deciding what to do.

So for now, he’s just at home more, with his wife and playing with the kids, and trying not to think too much about what might come next.

“There’s a little bit of, ‘Whatever happens, I deserve,'” he said. “I’ve sort of become a recluse.”

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