Roy Jay in More Trouble: Anybody who watched the Blazers' playoff run on television might have noticed Roy Jay, longtime president of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon, sitting in pricey seats right behind the national TV announcers. That was surprising, because in a July 2017 settlement with the Oregon Department of Justice, Jay swore he'd turned over all his assets to atone for misusing millions of public dollars paid to multiple nonprofits he ran, including Project Clean Slate, which promised to clear the criminal histories of black youth. Jay's insurance company paid $600,000 to settle DOJ's allegations that he used nonprofit money for exotic travel, mortgage payments, tailor-made clothing and expenses related to his vacation homes in Sunriver and Mexico. But a May 30 complaint DOJ filed against Jay in Multnomah County Circuit Court alleges he failed to disclose more than $700,000 in payments he allegedly diverted from a parking contract, including nearly $80,000 he received after swearing he'd disclosed all assets. DOJ has now reopened and amended its original complaint and seeks more than $2 million in claims the agency released Jay from in the 2017 settlement. Jay did not respond to requests for comment.
Portland DSA Considers Primary Candidate: The Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America votes June 9 whether to back their first candidate for office—a left-wing challenger to state Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland). Nosse, a labor union representative, voted with his caucus for the public pension reform bill this session. That vote (along with others by Democrats) provides an opening for left-wing candidates to win support from labor unions, which are publicly outraged over public pension reform. "I was, and still am, incredibly angry and disappointed after watching corporate Democrats in Salem turn their backs on public employees over this issue," wrote candidate Paige Kreisman, who ran unsuccessfully for Corvallis City Council before moving to Portland, in her candidate questionnaire for the DSA. "This was a manufactured crisis that could have easily been addressed through additional funding." She says she doesn't plan to run should she fail to get the DSA's endorsement.
Patriot Prayer Leader Joey Gibson Sued Again: A Portland activist who regularly confronts the Vancouver, Wash.-based right-wing organization Patriot Prayer is suing the group's leader, Joey Gibson, for defamation in a $161,000 lawsuit. Luis Marquez, a prominent figure at left-wing rallies and antifascist demonstrations, says Gibson defamed him in online videos that attack Marquez's reputation and incite violence against him. The May 31 complaint details a video recorded last year in which Gibson claimed Marquez is a "pedophile" without offering any evidence to support the allegation. Gibson ended the June 8, 2018, video with a challenge: "I don't care," he says. "Bring the slander lawsuit." Marquez's lawsuit is the second civil suit filed against Gibson in a month. A Portland cidery and pub sued the right-wing agitator for allegedly sparking a riot outside the business May 1.
Key Capitol Staff Moving On: Shakeups are coming to the Oregon Capitol. Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) are the longest-serving presiding officers in their respective chambers in Oregon history. WW has learned that their respective chiefs of staff will both leave after the current session, which should conclude by July 1. Courtney's chief, Betsy Imholt, who took her post in 2014, will become deputy director of the state's Early Learning Division. Tim Inman, Kotek's chief, will become chief of staff for the University of Oregon's provost. Like Imholt, Inman says his departure is based on his own timetable, not that of his boss. "My decision to leave," he adds, "should not be seen as any indication of the speaker's plans."