December 8th, 2008 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Environment

AG-Elect Kroger Pushes Envelope with Latest Hires


Attorney General-elect John Kroger campaigned on a promise to shake up what some people have considered a staid operation.

At least two of the three special counsels he named today will go a long way toward helping him accomplish that goal when he starts next month as head of Oregon's Justice Department.

According to sources in the legal community, Kroger has hired lawyers Margaret Olney, Brent Foster and Keith Dubanevich.

Olney and Foster are well-known names in political circles. Olney has worked closely with unions for years, on issues such as lowering lottery commissions paid to retailers; ending fraud and abuse in initiative signature-gathering; and various other election law issues.

Foster, the executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, has long been one of the strongest voices in Oregon's environmental community. Most recently, he has led the fight against multiple LNG terminals proposed for the state.

In his campaign, Kroger promised more zealous enforcement of Oregon's environmental laws. That's where Foster comes in; and his appointment will send a clear message to polluters.

Similarly, Olney, who has regularly litigated election issues on behalf of groups such as the Oregon Education Association and Basic Rights Oregon, will be seen in some circles as evidence that Kroger will aggressively police the state's Wild-West initiative process.

Dubanevich, a partner at the Garvey Schubert Barer firm, has focused on product liability and construction ligitigation. He is less well-known in political circles, but will focus on consumer protection issues.
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