Clackamas County District Attorney John Wentworth today charged Earl Joe “Joey” Gilliam III with six felony counts of aggravated theft in the first degree (a Class B felony) and six counts of criminal mischief (a Class C felony).
Gilliam is the son of Joe Gilliam, the former longtime president of the Northwest Grocery Association.
As WW reported last year, an unknown person or persons apparently poisoned Gilliam twice in 2020, using the toxic heavy metal thallium in an attempt to kill him. The poisoning left Gilliam, previously a vigorous, highly social figure who cut a broad swath across Oregon politics, in a vegetative state in a long-term care facility.
The charges against the younger Gilliam stem from the first half of 2021, when he held power of attorney over his incapacitated father’s financial affairs. A court-appointed guardian in Clark County, Wash., where Joe Gilliam is in a care facility, compiled a report in 2021 alleging that, while holding that power of attorney, the younger Gilliam helped himself to about $350,000 of his father’s money.
Court documents showed police were on the case, WW previously reported.
“The Lake Oswego Police Department has an open and active investigation/case in which Earl ‘Joey’ Gilliam III is suspected of criminal mistreatment I,” Lake Oswego Detective Sgt. James Peterson wrote in a July 19, 2021, statement placed in the court file. “This relates to…management of his father’s funds.”
Now that investigation has led to charges. But the attempted murder of Joe Gilliam remains unsolved.
FBI investigators took hair samples from Joe Gilliam and his daughter Olivia earlier this year in an apparent attempt to learn more about the poisoning, but there have been no results of that testing shared with Gilliam family members.
Joey Gilliam referred questions about the charges against him to his attorney, Shannon Kmetic. Kmetic says she will withhold comment until the DA’s office provides further information about its case.
Gilliam has not been arrested. He is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 17 in Clackamas County Circuit Court.