Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler, a close political collaborator with embattled
Mayor Sam Adams, told WW
today he's "shell-shocked and disappointed" that Adams lied to the public about his sexual relationship with 18-year-old Beau Breedlove.
Wheeler, who once wrote a book on good government, declined to say whether Adams should step down. He said only that City Council members were correct to support a criminal investigation
by the Attorney General's office.
(For those keeping score at home, City Commissioner Dan Saltzman was the only council member who did not support
Wheeler said the saga has brought City Hall to a standstill, and the county's mission of improving public safety, transportation and treatment services in conjunction with the city has suffered a blow as a result.
"It's obvious to everybody that work has come to a grinding halt across the river," Wheeler said. "There's no question that this has become a major distraction for them. If Sam is to stay as mayor, it's important that City Hall gets back to business as usual."
Wheeler said his office has been working closely with Adams' team for months to improve cooperation on issues vital to the county and the city, including funding repairs to the Sellwood Bridge. Without Adams leading the city, Wheeler admitted he'd lose a close partner.
"I can work with Sam," Wheeler said. "The challenge for Sam is going to be whether he can rebuild trust with his colleagues and the public at large. It's up to Sam. What he says and what he does over the next few days are critically important."
Asked whether he'd consider running for mayor if Adams stepped down, Wheeler sidestepped, saying only that speculation is "still premature."
also called Adams' predecessor, former Mayor Tom Potter, who pointedly did not support Adams in his run for mayor.
Potter declined to comment on this week's revelations.