May 1st, 2009 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, CLEAN UP

Adams Admission Reaction: Oregonian Scoop Leaves Leonard "Numb" (UPDATED with Adams comment)


This morning's Oregonian story about the relationship in 2005 between Mayor Sam Adams and then 17-year-old legislative intern Beau Breedlove advances the story in three important ways:

1. The O got Adams' cell-phone records, which show a level of communication that was earlier, more frequent and more driven by Adams (rather than Breedlove) than has previously been reported.

2. The O found, identified and quoted a long-rumored key figure in the story, the City Hall security guard who allegedly witnessed Adams engaging in some form of physical activity in a City Hall bathroom. That security guard, Jacoby Demissie, initially told his supervisor that he saw Adams having sex with another man. When contacted by the O however, Demissie (who was unwilling to speak to WW) disputed his supervisor's version of events.

3. The O's account raises significant questions about the timing of a key meeting between Breedlove and Adams at a First Thursday event at City Hall in the first half of 2005. There is no doubt Breedlove attended the event at Adams' invitation. The mayor previously told WW and other media that and several witnesses recall seeing Breedlove at City Hall and talking to him there. Previously, it appeared that Breedlove attended a first Thursday event in June 2005, a couple of weeks before he turned 18 on June 25, 2005. Now, however, the O's reporting points to his having attended an earlier event because it appears Adams was on vacation during the June event. While the chronology remains uncertain, the significance of the new timeline would be to move previously reported physical contact between Adams and Breedlove to an earlier time—i.e. when Breedlove was younger.

WW contacted Adams' four council colleagues this morning to get their reaction to the new developments. Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman, both of whom publicly supported Adams' earlier decision not to resign, were not immediately available for comment.

Commissioner Nick Fish, who ran unsuccessfully against Adams in 2004 for a council seat, issued a terse no-comment.

"I don't have any interest in commenting on these revelations," says Fish, who joined the council after winning a race in 2008.

Commissioner Randy Leonard — who had strongly backed Adams when WW first wrote about Breedlove in September 2007 but said in January that he felt "betrayed" by Adams – said today that he was still trying to sort through the implications of today's developments.

"Maybe I'm just becoming numb," Leonard says. "I didn't understand the time-line and the interaction between the guards was less than clear."

UPDATE: Adams declined to take questions about Breedlove at a press conference this morning on Adams' budget. Asked afterward if there was anything in The Oregonian story that was inaccurate, Adams responded, "Out of respect for Attorney General Kroger's investigation, I'm going to respectfully decline to answer that question."

The mayor repeated that answer when asked a second question — if he has any information on when Kroger's investigation will conclude.

Adams did respond to a third question that noted he said in January he would resign if he determined it was in the city's best interest. Asked if this morning's story had changed his conclusion that he should stay on the job, Adams said, "We're delivering. We're delivering on creating jobs and helping the homeless and creating partnerships."

(Adams photo courtesy KATU)
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