Mayor Sam Adams has regularly faced angry citizens at City Council meetings demanding he resign in the wake of his admission
in January that he lied about a 2005 sexual relationship with then-teen-aged Beau Breedlove.
Today, the only person who signed up to call for the mayor's ouster was Rondine Ghiselline, a West Linn woman who has been among the mayor's fiercest critics.
In emotional council testimony, Ghiselline revealed the reason for her criticism of Adams. She told the council that as an 18-year-old college student in Eugene in 1992, she was raped.
"Both Beau Breedlove and I were teens who were used and discarded," Ghiselline testitified. "My attacker used force, [Breedlove's] used coercion."
Ghiselline says that in 1992, the community rallied around her in a public show of anger at her attacker. But she says in Portland the opposite is happening: people are rallying around the perpetrator, Adams, while showing no concern for Breedlove.
Ghiselline challenged Adams' colleagues to stop enabling him to continue in office.
"Every day you allow this to happen, you're making a mockery of what the survivors of sexual abuse go through," she told City Commissioners Nick Fish, Amanda Fritz, Randy Leonard and Dan Saltzman.
Ghiselline, 34, also raised the issue of how she felt after being raped: not worthy of pursuing justice against her attacker, who never served a day in jail. She speculated that Breedlove may also be experiencing conflicting feelings now.
"But I guess when he's 34, he will wish he pursued justice," she says.
Ghiselline's comments get at a central contradiction in Breedlove's behavior: The only reason WW was able to establish that he and Adams lied in 2007 when first asked about their relationship was because of Breedlove's subsequent cooperation with WW. In effect, he blew the whistle on Adams.
But in interviews with The Oregonian
, CBS News
(Channel 8), Breedlove both added damaging new details about his relationship with Adams—including the claim they kissed for "about a minute" in a City Hall bathroom when Breedlove was 17—but also claimed to feel affection and admiration for Adams.
Here's how The Oregonian's
Jan. 25 story
quoted Breedlove in its final paragraph:
"I was not pulled into this situation by Sam. I was not unfairly influenced by Sam. I think Sam is a wonderful man."
It may be no coincidence that during or just prior to all three of those interviews, Breedlove was represented by Charlie Hinkle
, a senior partner in the city's largest law firm, Stoel Rives, and a noted First Amendment lawyer and outspoken Adams supporter.
But Breedlove's puzzling behavior—first blowing the whistle in private conversations with WW
but then claiming to bear no animus towards Adams in his only substantial on-the-record interviews—both echo Ghiselline's description of the conflicting emotions she felt as a teen survivor of sexual abuse and beg the question: when he was coaching Breedlove for his interviews, whom was Hinkle really representing?
Click here for the latest updates and complete WW coverage of the Adams-Breedlove story.