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June 24th, 2009 Beth Slovic, Nigel Jaquiss | Q & A
 

Sam Adams

The Mayor’s Take on the Kroger Report.

     
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SAM ADAMS
IMAGE: vivianjohnson.com

Mayor Sam Adams met separately with reporters Monday to discuss the findings Attorney General John Kroger had issued just a few hours earlier.

Adams, who appeared nervous and humbled, sat down for the interview in the same mayoral conference room as he had Jan. 15, when he denied to WW any sexual relationship with Beau Breedlove.

For this 20-minute interview, Adams was joined by Tom Miller, his chief of staff; and Warren Jimenez, the mayor’s deputy chief of staff.

Adams discussed a loan he made to Breedlove in late 2008 before news of their sexual relationship broke in January 2009, his willingness to testify in front of a grand jury and the effects of the five-month investigation on his personal finances.

WW: Have you talked to Breedlove today?

Adams: No.

When was the last time you communicated with him?

I don’t know, many months ago.

Was there anything in Kroger’s report that struck you as inaccurate?

Not at first blush, based on a quick reading.

According to the report, on Jan. 21 and 22, a lawyer working for you named Sam Kauffman interviewed Breedlove and took a statement. The Kroger investigation started on Jan. 21. Why was your attorney interviewing Breedlove for two days?

As it was explained to me by my lawyer, it is common practice for lawyers in his position to take statements, request statements, from everyone that might be party to an investigation. But I understand that it is voluntary.

Do you know if Breedlove was represented by an attorney at the time?

I don’t know. I don’t think he was. [He was not.]

Kroger’s report indicates that you loaned Breedlove money.

Yes.

How much?

It was $500. [Kroger’s report says there was a second loan, for $250.] He had to secure a new place to live or something. This was before any of this came out. And the attorney general looked at all that. The attorney general has more precise information in answer to your question.

Let’s rewind. When WW interviewed you in January, and we asked you if you were ever in the bathroom with Breedlove, your response was, “If I was, it wasn’t…it wouldn’t be for very long.” In the report, you said you didn’t recall if you were in the bathroom with Breedlove.

If I was in the bathroom with him, nothing sexual happened.

Were you in the bathroom with him at the same time or not?

If I was in the bathroom, you know, with him, nothing sexual happened. If we were both on the way out and stopped by to use the bathroom, you know, I don’t recall. But there was no sexual activity.

There were issues Kroger addressed in the press conference that weren’t in the report. One was the lingering rumor that you and Breedlove went to Mexico.

No, I’ve never been to Mexico with Beau.

Have you ever crossed state lines with Beau?

No.

To Washington [where the age of consent is 16]?

No.

On a separate matter, why didn’t you file papers with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission to create a legal defense fund? [So he could raise money to pay his legal bills.]

When this started, I don’t think I or few other people thought it would last five months. I had no concept on how expensive it would be.

Will you file one now?

I’m looking at the options, definitely.

Did you know the report was going to come out today [Monday]?

No. My attorney got a call this morning, and they called me.

If you had been asked to testify in front of a grand jury, would you have done so?

Absolutely. I waived my whatever you call it, rights, to participate in this [Kroger’s] investigation.

The report details why state investigators don’t think Breedlove is credible. The implication is he’s not telling the truth. What would be his motivation to lie about his relationship with you?

That’s not for me to answer.

You don’t know?

I don’t think it would be appropriate of me to speculate.

Is this whole chain of events a reflection on who you are, or is this sequence an aberration?

I’ve obviously made bad judgments, about lying to you and others about whether or not I had a sexual relationship with Beau after he was an adult. I have apologized for that and my apologies are sincere. I’ve sought to make amends by making sure that the work gets done. I think this has made me a better person and a better public servant.

How has it made you a better public servant?

It’s made me a more humble person and, you know, I’ve been able to see fully that I’m capable of making a big mistake.

Now that the investigation is off the table, how will you address the problem of the late payments on your two houses facing foreclosure?

I didn’t expect this. I’ve never been through anything like this before, so I didn’t know it would go on for so long and, therefore, be so expensive. I’m working hard to get on top of both the legal bill I need to pay and the mortgage bills I’ve fallen behind on.

 
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