Sources Say: County says it can't investigate its board members
Multnomah County cannot investigate at least four civil rights complaints against a majority of the commission because they stem from interactions between the commissioners themselves.
At least that's the conclusion reached by county Chief Operating Officer Marissa Madrigal after consulting with the Multnomah County auditor, the county attorney and the chief human resources officer.
She explained the reasoning in a Feb. 1 email to county library employee Amanda Byrd, who filed the first complaint after Chair Deborah Kafoury accused Commissioner Loretta Smith of being a b---ch at a board meeting. Smith was the only commission member not named in the complaint.
"Simply put, this matter is outside the scope of my authority because the behavior described in your complaint is between elected officials — and not the employees under my supervision," Madrigal said. "This does not mean that county elected officials cannot be held accountable for their actions," she said.
"The authority to hold the chair and board of commissioners accountable on any issue rightly rests with the voters, the courts and a limited number of external bodies with the authority to levy penalties against elected officials, such as the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, Secretary of State, and the Department of Justice."
Wheeler gets early start on campaign fundraising
Mayor Ted Wheeler has raised over $10,000 in campaign contributions so far this year, even though he isn't up for re-election until 2020.
Some of the largest contributions are from developers, including $1,000 from Jim Mark of Melvin Mark Properties, and $2,500 each from John Andrews of Melvin Mark Properties and Adam Tyler of Killian Pacific.
Wheeler also has received $250 from Angus Duncan, president of the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and chairman of the Oregon Global Warming Commission.
Wheeler's biggest expenditure so far this year was $7,000 to Hilltop Public Solutions, which managed his winning 2017 campaign for mayor.
DeFazio wants to work with Trump against Paul Ryan
Since Donald Trump was elected president, most of Oregon's congressional delegation have shown themselves to be part of the "resistance" by frequently denouncing his statements, policies and nominees. The sole exception has been Democratic 5th District Rep. Kurt Schrader, a moderate from Canby who is known for his independence.
But now Democratic 4th District Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Springfield, has found a policy he can work with Trump on — sort of.
Appearing on "Morning Edition" on National Public Radio the day Trump announced his $1.5 trillion infrastructure improvement plan, DeFazio complained that he had proposed increasing the federal gas tax to help pay for such projects, but Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan won't consider it.
When asked if he was willing to work with the unpopular president during an election year, DeFazio tried to avoid answering the question. But when pinned down, he said yes, "If the president can help me roll Paul Ryan."