Elected official cited for commercial sexual solicitation asked to step down by fellow board members.

Dave Hunt submitted his letter of resignation on July 15 to Rob Wheeler, chair of Clackamas Community College Board of Education, the day after the board asked him to step down.Dave Hunt

"I write to tender my resignation from the CCC Board of Education effective immediately. I had planned to continue my leave of absence, but that now seems untenable.

"It was my true honor and privilege to actively support and grow CCC — as a legislator for 10 years, a foundation donor, and a board member for the last six and a half years.

"I want to thank the faculty, staff, students, and community members who have reached out to me during the past 10 weeks with encouragement and support. Although I am not able to fulfill your desire for me to continue serving on the board, I am grateful for your service and wish you the very best."

Hunt was reelected to the CCC's board after the May 18 special district election, when he was the only candidate to appear on the ballot for his zone. Hunt, 53, has been an elected board member for CCC since January 2015 and represented Zone 3, which serves Gladstone, Oak Grove, and Jennings Lodge areas.

Hunt was arraigned on May 27 at the Multnomah County Courthouse. "I did enter a not guilty plea and expect the sole charge to be dismissed, although COVID-related court closures will likely delay that action for months (for me and thousands of other Oregonians facing misdemeanor charges," Hunt said in an email.

Hunt has been on a leave of absence from the board since he was cited for commercial sexual misconduct in April.

"I had planned to continue my leave of absence from the Board to keep focusing on my family, therapy, and 12-step addiction recovery program, but that plan became untenable this week," he said.

According to an email from CCC's President Tim Cook sent to students on May 7, board members can not be terminated.

"The CCC Board of Education will work to fill the now vacant position by accepting applications and appointing an interim director to fill the role until the next election," Cook wrote in an email to CCC staff on Friday, July 16.

Under Oregon law, Commercial Sexual Solicitation is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 364 days in prison, a fine of up to $6,250 or both. Commercial Sexual Solicitation ORS 167.008 makes it illegal to pay, offer or agree to pay a fee to engage in sexual contact or conduct. In order to be arrested and charged under this law, defense attorney Jeff Siefman said, you don't have to explicitly say that you will pay X in order to receive Y.

If you are convicted of this crime, the possibility or amount of jail time served will be determined by several factors, including the crime itself, your criminal history, the court/county in which you are charged, the judge who hears the case, and whether or not your judge feels you've taken responsibility for your actions, wrote Oregon defense attorney Jared Justice. The state does not have to prove the person paid a prostitute, they just have to prove to agree that the person offered or agreed to pay a fee to engage in sexual conduct, according to Oregon attorney Andy Green. Commercial Sexual Solicitation is not legally considered a sex crime, so it is expungeable.

Hunt began his career as a congressional staffer and went on to serve five terms in the Oregon Legislature, serving as both speaker and Democratic majority leader.

As a legislator, Hunt was one of numerous sponsors of a bill criminalizing sex trafficking in 2007. In 2011, he also voted for HB 2714, that bill created the crime of commercial sexual solicitation, the crime for which he was arrested and cited. That measure created the crime of patronizing a prostitute — since renamed commercial sexual solicitation — punishable by up to one year imprisonment, a $6,250 fine, or both when the person being patronized is an adult.

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