A state investigator today issued a report recommending the dismissal of an ethics complaint against Patricia McCaig, Gov. John Kitzhaber's top adviser on the Columbia River Crossing.
The investigator with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission says in a 41-page report that McCaig did not break the law by failing to register as a lobbyist while working for the governor and a contractor on the CRC project.
The investigator says she couldn't find evidence McCaig "spent more than an aggregate of 24 hours lobbying during any calendar quarter of the relevant portions of 2011 and 2012."
The report said that McCaig—one of the most prominent advocates of building the CRC—claimed she provided mostly "neutral information" to legislators about whether or not they should vote to authorize the freeway project.
The Oregonian first reported the investigator's findings earlier this afternoon.
A WW cover story last year described how McCaig, while advising Kitzhaber on the project, drew a paycheck from the engineering firm David Evans and Associates, the top contractor on the CRC. The ethics commission report said its investigation found no evidence the arrangement broke ethics laws.
WW found that McCaig spent spent 219 hours on legislative issues while pushing for the CRC on behalf of Kitzhaber. during the last quarter of 2012, although state law says anyone who spends more than 24 hours in three months attempting to influence legislation must register.