OLCC Director Steve Marks Submits His Resignation

Gov. Tina Kotek pushed Marks out before the pending criminal investigation into the distribution of rare whiskeys.

Steve Marks, director of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, submitted his resignation this morning.

“Gov. Kotek has requested that I resign from my position as executive director of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission,” Marks wrote in a brief letter. “Because I believe that the governor is entitled to have her own management team, I will honor that request. Accordingly, I resign effective at 5:00 PM on February 15, 2023.”

The resignation was expected. As WW first reported, Kotek sought Marks’ resignation in January, prior to revelations that he and five other senior OLCC managers had set aside rare and valuable whiskeys for themselves and others. Kotek has said she was unaware of the whiskey scandal when she decided to replace Marks.

Marks, 62, a Southern Oregon native, had a long run in state government. He was a longtime aide to Gov. John Kitzhaber in his first two terms, from 1995 to 2003. He served as Kitzhaber’s final chief of staff and, after lobbying and a stint at the Oregon Department of Administrative Services, took over the OLCC in 2013, during Kitzhaber’s third term.

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