State Treasurer Ted Wheeler is shaking up his staff.
Three staffers, policy aides Michael Selvaggio and Michael Burdick and press spokesman James Sinks, will be leaving Wheeler's office. The three are holdovers from the staff of Wheeler's predecessor, the late Ben Westlund, who died in office in 2010.
"Ted wants to go in a different direction," says Wheeler's chief of staff, Tom Rinehart.
The moves comes at a time when Wheeler's political career is at something of a crossroads.
Wheeler was Multnomah County chair in 2010, when then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski appointed him to replace Westlund. That appointment put him on a path to run for governor, but incumbent Gov. John Kitzhaber, frustrated those plans when he announced late last year that he'd run for an unprecedented (in Oregon) fourth term, blocking Wheeler's path to Mahonia Hall.
In the recently completed 2014 legislative session, Wheeler proposed revamping the way his agency and the Oregon Investment Council operate. He said the risk management functions the OIC now pays outside firms to perform could be brought in-house, potentially saving more than $2 billion over 20 years. The bill died in the final day of the session.
Wheeler's big project now is a measure headed for the November ballot that would allow his agency to borrow money and invest it, with excess returns to be used to fund college scholarships for needy Oregonian students.
No replacements for the three staffers have been named.