Murmurs: Gov. Kate Brown’s Top Staffer Has Yet Another Conflict of Interest

In other news: Lake Oswego rethinks its graduation gowns to include transgender and gender-questioning teenagers.

Gov. Brown's Top Staffer Has Another Conflict

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's chief of staff, Kristen Leonard, has belatedly disclosed another potential conflict of interest in addition to potential conflicts related to a campaign bookkeeping company and software contract WW reported last week. Leonard's husband, Kevin Neely, is the lobbyist for the Oregon District Attorneys Association, a powerful force in state policy and budgeting involving public safety issues—such as the Department of Corrections budget, sentencing reform and whether to open a second women's prison. Chris Pair, a spokesman for Brown, says after questions from WW, Leonard decided Dec. 20 to report the potential conflict her husband's lobbying presents. "Out of an abundance of caution, Kristen Leonard has formally disclosed in writing her husband's employment with the Oregon District Attorneys Association," Pair says.

Lake Oswego Rethinks Graduation Gowns

Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high school students are ditching a graduation-day tradition they say excluded transgender and gender-questioning teenagers. Gone are the days when girls wore white caps and gowns and boys wore blue versions. Starting with the Class of 2017, all students will wear blue gowns. "As student awareness and understanding of gender equality and gender identity issues have been heightened, questions were raised as to why a gender distinction should be part of the graduation ceremony," says Nancy Duin, a spokeswoman for the Lake Oswego School District. "Students were also aware that this tradition was being challenged at other high schools across the country."

Portland Power Broker Back in Jail

A little more than a year ago, John Bradley was CEO of R&H Construction and president of the Arlington Club, Portland's citadel of power. Today, a year after he was arrested and pleaded guilty to assault for throwing his wife to the ground, he is neither. But Bradley is back in the news after being booked into Multnomah County Jail on Dec. 16 for violating the terms of a diversion agreement, the successful completion of which would allow the assault charge to be dismissed. Bradley remains in jail. His attorney, Robin DesCamp, says Bradley allegedly violated a restraining order by writing his wife a brief note—a gesture he now regrets.

Poker Clubs Bust Out

Four of Portland's quasi-legal poker clubs got coal in their stockings this year. Effective Dec. 22, the city of Portland's Revenue Division will suspend the licenses of the Game, Oregon Racing Inc., Final Table, and Oregon Poker Club for two weeks after investigators found the clubs were violating city rules that included prohibitions on cash games; professional, non-playing dealers; and professional gambling. It is the latest in a series of regulatory actions against businesses that have fallen between the cracks of state laws and city rules.

Give!Guide Having a Happy Holiday

Willamette Week's annual Give!Guide is live and accepting donations at Giving has surpassed $2.15 million and 6,400 donors. The campaign is seeking 10,000 donors by midnight, Dec. 31.

Correction: The item about John Bradley originally said he hit his wife. In fact, the probable cause affidavit said Bradley "threw her to the ground." The item also originally said Bradley's case resulted in a conviction. In fact, he pleaded guilty to assault and entered a diversion program, the successful completion of which could result in the charge being dismissed. And Bradley's attorney said he'd allegedly violated a restraining order, not that he had conclusively done so. WW regrets the errors.


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