A somber Mayor Sam Adams told reporters at a jammed City Hall press conference this afternoon that he doesn't plan to quit but did add that "if it's in the city's best interest ... I'll resign."
Adams made his remarks in the wake of an admission
yesterday that he lied in 2007 about having had sex with a legislative intern named Beau Breedlove in 2005 when Breedlove was 18.
"I'm ashamed, humbled and humiliated," Adams said at his press conference.
But he insisted that the lie he told reporters in September 2007
when the Breedlove story broke was not representative of his character.
"What I did was an anomaly, not a trend," he told dozens of assembled reporters.
Two of Adams' colleagues, Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz attended the event. Fritz took the lecturn to defend Adams, while Fish merely listened.
The most notable aspect of the press conference was a call from a representative of the 900-member Portland Police Association. Sgt. Mitch Copp, the union's secretary-treasurer, told Adams he should resign because he lied. "We'd like you to step down," Copp told Adams.
Adams told Copp he thinks he can still serve effectively. But he repeatedly apologized to his constituents, his colleagues and Breedlove, now 21, whom he says he instructed to lie to reporters.
One person Adams says he does not owe an apology is Pearl District developer Bob Ball, the man who originally brought forth information about Adams and Breedlove in 2005.
"His intentions were to use the allegations of sex with a minor to bump me out of the [mayor's] race," says Adams, who cut short a trip to President Obama's inauguration in Washington D.C., to fly back to Portland to address his earlier lies.
Adams also said he would welcome an official investigation into his conduct. He insisted that he broke no laws because Breedlove was over 18 when the two first had sex in July 2005. Adams also said he had never had sex with any other teen-ager.
Asked whether he was treated differently from other politicians because he is gay, Adams said no. "I think this is an issue about a public official lying," he says. "Not an issue of sexual orientation."
(Photo by Vivian Johnson)