August 12th, 2013 3:25 pm | by ANDREA DAMEWOOD News | Posted In: Cops and Courts, PDX News, Politics

State Bar Dimisses UO Professor's Complaint Against Lawyers Involved in the Energy Department Investigation

news1b_kroger_3750Former Attorney General John Kroger - IMAGE:

The Oregon State Bar has dismissed a complaint filed by University of Oregon economics professor Bill Harbaugh, filed in May against prominent Eugene lawyers Bill Gary and Sharon Rudnick and University of Oregon General Counsel Randy Geller.

In his complaint, Harbaugh accused Gary and Rudnick of misleading Marion County Judge Thomas Hart last year about the value of legal services their firm, Harrang Long Gary Rudnick, provided in a public records battle with the Oregon Department of Justice. The complaint accused Geller of helping the lawyers mislead the judge with a less than candid affidavit in support of their request for fees. 

However, in an email sent to Harbaugh last week by OSB General Counsel Chris L. Mullmann, the bar found "not a scintilla of evidence" that Geller aided the lawyers in a quest to raise their billings. He dismissed all claims made against the three.

Harrang Long sent WW an email copy of the complaint's dismissal; Oregon State Bar officials confirmed they had declined to refer the complaint to the Disciplinary Counsel’s Office.

Harbaugh's complaint stemmed from one of the biggest legal skirmishes in recent Oregon political history. The DOJ, led by then-Attorney General John Kroger, launched an investigation in the summer of 2010 into a contract that the Oregon Department of Energy apparently steered to a company owned in part by Cylvia Hayes, the longtime companion of Gov. John Kitzhaber.

Last week, DOJ agreed to pay a $1 million to former Oregon Energy Department director Mark Long to settle claims the state violated his rights when it put him under criminal investigation in 2010.

Long and three other Energy Department employees were put on paid leave in 2010 while the DOJ launched an investigation into whether they improperly steered a $60,000 contract to Hayes' company, which had finished dead last for another contract. 

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