The building official for Gearhart has been charged with aggravated harassment after allegedly spitting at a Seaside police officer.

Mark Brien was arrested earlier this month after officers responded to a report of a person punching walls in his house. When officers confronted Brien, he became confrontational, according to court documents.

While putting Brien into a patrol car, a Seaside officer stepped back and made a statement indicating that Brien had spit onto his face, according to court documents.

Brien was sent to Providence Seaside Hospital for an evaluation by medical staff. He was determined not to be a threat to himself or others and was subsequently released.

Brien is away at rehab, City Administrator Chad Sweet said.

The city will work with Jim Brien, who works with Mark Brien in the same company, for building official services while Mark Brien is away.

The city will continue to monitor the situation before making any decisions about Brien’s employment, Sweet said.

“We’re sorry that this happened. We’re concerned for Mark and we’re very appreciative of what our officers do in this community,” Sweet said. “We just hope for the best for everyone in this.”

Brenna Visser is a reporter for the Cannon Beach Gazette, Seaside Signal and The Daily Astorian. Contact her at 971-320-4558 or

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