This week, we rogue the Multnomah Athletic Club, the longstanding institution that's provided lockers, one of America's most expansive weight rooms and a sense of comfort to Portland's well-heeled since 1891.
Our award to the MAC is not because it continually refuses to admit us to its exclusive membership. It's rather because of its curious sense of justice.
In the current edition of the MAC's The Winged M magazine is a small story about the club's decision to suspend the membership of a 27-year-old woman who "pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide, third-degree assault and driving under the influence in connection with a fatal automobile crash."
Insiders confirmed that this member is Cory Sause of Lake Oswego, who was drunk when she drove her car into another, killing 21-year-old Patrick Kibler and putting his younger brother, Scott, in a coma for several days (see WW's "Two Crimes, Two Punishments," Nov. 29, 2006).
While suspending her membership for a decade might seem punitive, several MAC members contacted us and pointed something out:
Portland financier Andrew Wiederhorn never killed anybody, yet he lost his MAC membership for life after serving 14 months in federal prison for filing a false tax return and paying an illegal gratuity.
Few want to publicly defend Wiederhorn. But it strikes us as roguish to take away his membership forever but only suspend Sause. Of course, as a private institution, the MAC can do anything it wants. Then again, maybe not. Wiederhorn is
challenging his explusion in court.
"My whole claim is that they have treated different people differently, and ... not applied their policies and procedures consistently," Wiederhorn says.
Tim Arbogast, the MAC's assistant general manager, says, "Each incident is investigated on its own merits."