As the probe continues into whether the Oregon Department of Energy unlawfully steered business to a company co-owned by Gov. John Kitzhaber's longtime companion, two well-connected defense lawyers have gone on the offensive against the chief investigator in the case.
WW has obtained a 30-page letter (PDF) in which Dave Frohnmayer and Bill Gary outline a series of accusations against Sean Riddell (in photo), the head of the criminal division in the Oregon Department of Justice. Riddell was charged last year with determining whether ODOE broke the law to steer a $60,000 subcontract to Cylvia Hayes' company while Kitzhaber was campaigning for governor.
A story last week in The Oregonian reported that "two lawyers" had complained to the Department of Justice about Riddell's aggressive tactics. The letter details their complaints. The lawyers are Frohnmayer and Gary, who were hired as criminal defense attorneys for Mark Long, a career state bureaucrat who headed ODOE when Hayes' sustainable-energy consulting firm won the subcontract.
Frohnmayer and Gary both work in the Eugene office of the law firm Harrang Long Gary Rudnick. Mark Long's father is a former Deputy Attorney General, Stan Long (a retired shareholder in the law firm). Frohnmayer himself served as attorney general from 1981 to 1991, then president of the University of Oregon from 1994 to 2009. Gary is a former state solicitor general and served as Frohnmayer's deputy attorney general.
In their letter, the two men describe a private meeting in which Riddell—a younger lawyer who worked as a deputy for Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schrunk—refuses to give Frohnmayer and Gary information about his investigation of their client. The letter quotes Riddell saying if he's ever investigated, he hopes it will be as "thorough as a proctology examination."
Before his term ended, now-former Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed retired Malheur County Circuit Court Judge Frank Yraugen to review the case, in which Long and three other state employees remain on paid leave. Yraugen turned in his final report March 4. His conclusions have not yet been made public.