Surveiled Oregon Justice Official Gets New Job
Erious Johnson, former chief civil rights counsel at the Oregon Department of Justice, has a new gig. Johnson accepted a $205,000 settlement from the agency in October, concluding a remarkable episode in which a DOJ investigator used a cyber surveillance tool to track Johnson's Twitter account. Although Johnson did nothing wrong, he was required to leave his job as part of the settlement. He showed up in the Capitol last week for a three-day interim legislative gathering in a new position—policy analyst for state Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley). Johnson says he's not sure whether he'll go back to practicing law or give policy a whirl, but he intends to work for Bynum through the February session. "It's an opportunity to see how another branch of government works," he says.
Government Watchdog Seeks Loretta Smith's Resignation
A petition filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Jan. 16 seeks to force County Commissioner Loretta Smith to resign for alleged violations of the county charter. The legal action, authored by good-government advocate Seth Woolley, had been expected since last month, when the county attorney invited a lawsuit over the issue. The new document will extend the ongoing controversy over whether Smith technically began her campaign for Portland City Council before Jan. 1 and therefore must resign. Smith says she is not surprised by the lawsuit and does not expect it to be successful.
Dave Dahl Buys a Killer Condo
Dave's Killer Bread founder Dave Dahl rang in the new year with a new pad that's got a bird's eye view of downtown and the Cascade Range. Multnomah County property records show Dahl closed on the new 2,920-square-foot condo in December, buying the downtown penthouse for $3.065 million. That's a lot of bread—but not the highest price paid for a condo in 2017's booming market. That honor appears to go to investor Jay Regan, whose company JCP Investments LLC bought a different penthouse in March for $4.5 million, records show. Each of the high-priced purchases came with a storage unit and three parking spaces. The seller of the $4.5 million property may be familiar to eagle-eyed readers: He's Barnes C. Ellis, a onetime Oregonian reporter turned investment adviser.
A recent story on federal tax reforms ("No Profit, No Loophole," WW, Jan. 3, 2017) said nonprofits will pay a 21 percent excise tax on employees who earn more than $1 million. In fact, the tax will apply only to pay above $1 million. WW regrets the error.