In the latest round of the long-running Oregon Department of Energy contracting saga, attorneys for former ODOE director Mark Long filed a bar complaint on May 13 against Department of Justice criminal chief Sean Riddell. Riddell was the state official who led the probe that resulted in Long being placed on paid leave, along with three others. Longâs lawyers say Riddell ârepeatedly and unequivocally lied to witnesses and coerced and intimidated them.â DOJ spokesman Tony Green says his agency will cooperate fully with any bar investigation. The complaint comes at a time when an independent lawyer hired by state agencies to review the fate of the four suspended employees is nearing a decisionâand if the bar takes up the complaint, that process could delay or alter the stateâs final decisions on the employeesâ fates.
Political junkies get some early fodder for 2012: Martha Schrader announced Tuesday she will seek the seat on the Clackamas County Commission that she vacated in 2009 to replace her husband, Kurt, in the state Senate. Not yet announced but actively seeking support for the county chair position, which Lynn Peterson left to join Gov. John Kitzhaberâs staff, is incumbent Ann Lininger, the commissioner who replaced Schrader in Position 3. Schrader, who narrowly lost a 2010 Senate re-election bid, said in a statement, âI feel my greatest accomplishments have been at Clackamas County, and I have more to offer.â
A former facilities maintenance coordinator at the Kennedy School in Northeast Portland is suing McMenamins, claiming the restaurant chain ordered him to falsify health records for the entertainment centerâs soaking pool. In the lawsuit filed May 12 in Multnomah County Circuit Court, Thomas Kerr claims he was fired Dec. 3, 2010, after reporting the alleged order to falsify pool records, which Kerr says he believed to be a violation of state or federal law. The lawsuit does not specify how the records were allegedly to be falsified, or to whom Kerr says he made the report. Renee Rank, spokeswoman for McMenamins, declined to comment.
PAUL STANFORDCredits: leahnash.comAs first reported at wweek.com, longtime Portland marijuana activist Paul Stanford pleaded guilty May 17 to one count of Oregon personal income-tax evasion and agreed to serve 18 months of probation. Stanford, who runs a nationwide chain of medical-marijuana clinics (see âKing Bong,â WW, Dec. 12, 2007), has claimed state prosecutors indicted him as political payback for his work advocating for cannabis legalization. âI think the fact that he pleaded guilty dispels any notion about the legitimacy of this case,â says Oregon Department of Justice spokesman Tony Green.