If sentencing guidelines are a new battleground of Oregon politics, one state employee is caught in no man's land.
Michelle Long, the state Department of Justice's district attorney coordinator, provides administrative services to the Oregon District Attorneys Association.
In 2018, district attorneys started fundraising for a lawsuit opposed by Long's boss, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. (Disclosure: Rosenblum is married to Richard Meeker, co-owner of WW's parent company.) That created an awkward clash between Long's obligations to the ODAA and her employer.
Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Happy Valley) questioned whether the association should have access to a DOJ employee to provide administrative services, including coordinating payments for lawsuits against the state.
"The amount of work Ms. Long did to support a private lawsuit brought by an elected district attorney against the state of Oregon, one that her employer was defending the state against, is deeply troubling to me," Bynum wrote in a letter to ODAA president Beth Heckert, obtained by WW through a public records request.
A spokeswoman for the DOJ says the agency cannot comment because it has opened a human resources investigation into the matter.
Long's difficulties continued. In April, she sent an email, written by the association, lobbying against a bill introduced at the behest of Rosenblum.
In response, the DOJ changed her job description—removing any reference to the ODAA and declaring that Long's 20-year-old position would "not include any legislation or policy/political work on behalf of either the DAs or DOJ."