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Thursday, April 13, 2006

Blessed are they who expect nothing

Word has come down from Oregon attorney general Hardy Myers that he can't get into the investigation into the conduct of Portland Police Chief Derrick Foxworth, because he doesn't have the authority to enforce civil (as opposed to criminal) laws relating to the city. Here's Myers's letter to Mayor Potter declining the assignment (via KGW).

Makes you wonder what Myers can and will do (if anything) in the Emilie Boyles "voter-owned elections" scandal. With the Foxworth letter, is he in effect telling us that he can't make Boyles pay the city back the $144,900 in "clean money" she's taken in apparent violation of the municipal ordinance?

If Myers's jurisdiction is limited to criminal prosecution, he may have a tough time getting to Boyles herself. Let's face it, that money's gone.

Comments (29)

I think it's a blessing that Myers won't get involved. I look forward to watching the wiggling and squirming of our local yokels stewing in their own juice. The sordid factor just goes up a notch without the distraction of the Bumbler General.

So Jack....are you saying Boyles' actions are not criminal?...but, rather, a civil matter? She just cannot be allowed to get away with this! How much more pathetic can this matter get?

Committing a crime and being convicted for it are two very different things.

I have to say that auditor Blackmer and crew have figured out ways to go after both the cheats -- and I'm cautiously optimistic that our money will be returned. Of course, they used indirect ways of protecting the public purse, but for all the complaints, it looks like we may get what we want -- elections not bought and sold by developers -- while scaring off those who want to game the system.

I'm cautiously optimistic that our money will be returned.

Then you must be high. Boyles can't pay the rent on her trailer. You think she's got $80 grand in cash in a hole in the back yard?

Well, her daughter recently came into some money. And she's shown some skill in raising small contributions ($5,000 raised and the cost of raising it only $15,000).

If Myers goes after these cases, I, for one, will ask why he hasn't been willing to look into scandals involving "important" lawyers who, because they steal, can afford to pay their rent. The American way doncha know. Boyles is assimilating. I will also ask why that office will make a big show (with equally big pricetag) going after DAs-like Terry Gustafson- on really weak charges because Stephen Houze and Larry Matasar want it to.

Based on today's Oregonian, it sounds like Emilie has no financial assets. Assuming she just lives large for the next two months, the City might be able to reposess some of the "campaign's property", plus any cash she hasn't spent.

Wouldn't it be great if she moved to Mexico?

Hey, come on. Look at all the tough prosecutions they did in the SAIF scandals. {g}

OK...if we can't convict her, howzabout we transform her trailer into an Rose Festival parade float....bedecked in dead flowers, with her riding on top in stocks, as an honorary "ambassador" from the School of Scam & Scandal? Wave!....Emmy....Wave! Pelt her with rotten tomatoes!

The Multnomah County Tax Supervising and Conservation Commission is specifically directed by statute to use the AG as their legal counsel. The TSCC is a hoop through which all covered local governments here must jump through to obtain any property tax dollars and the TSCC has authority to affirmatively direct the DA to get back dollars that have been misspent.

Did the TSCC vanish? But isn't TSCC's core function primarily related to "audits?" The only potential escape -- jurisdictionally -- is if the money is NOT related to property taxes, or it does not involve money.

For one thing, if the criteria focused on is the signature sheets, that's a violation of state law, not the city law, and clearly within the AG's purview.

Sorry, meant to preview and then add something, and instead I hit post.

The point here is that what Foxworth faces is a tort claim -- a civil matter. You know, the sort one person brings against another.

If there's a violation of state or local campaign finance laws, that's not a civil matter, it's a criminal one.

Talk about apples and oranges.

I believe she will beat any criminal charge they throw at her. The clean money setup is so enticing, she can claim entrapment.

Maybe Boyles is right about one thing.
Maybe we should blame her (our) troubles on the "system" (that's really too kind a term) and it's authors - at least for the pi**ing away of public $$. All because they couldn't be bothered (or didn't care) about including safeguards against abuse.

Could that be because their real goal was just to get somebody some re-election dough?


If there's a violation of state or local campaign finance laws, that's not a civil matter, it's a criminal one.

If you could show me the state criminal laws that you think you could establish that Boyles personally violated, I'd be very interested in seeing them (off-blog, if you're worried about libel problems).

A criminal prosecution of her is highly unlikely.

Maybe Emilie is on to something: I would rather see voter owned trailer parks than voter owned elections.

Think of all the double-wides that could have been leased or rent assisted with Erik's $345,000 in "Clean Money" (not including any matching funds that Ginny "forces" him to spend)!

If you could show me the state criminal laws that you think you could establish that Boyles personally violated...

Aamnda's charge to folks collecting contributions for her was very clear...SHE was personally responsible for everything you did, so you'd better do it right (and she checked everything twice).

Not to overstate the case, but the rules for Voter Owned Elections, such as they are, seem to clearly put personal responsibility on the candidate for eveything that's done in the candidate's name. No excuses, no shifting blame. A tough standard, but fair enough if you expect to use public financing.

If Emilie Boyles isn't prosecuted, this experiment is toast, which I think would be too bad.

I'm guessing she cannot return the money...but if she's allowed to steal it without answering for that theft, then the elected officials who allowed this to happen need to answer for that.

Just show me the crime that she personally has allegedly committed, and the specific actions that she personally allegedly took that violated state criminal law. Give yourself some time to look, because it's not obvious to me what the state could charge her with and expect to get a conviction.

There are no criminal sanctions in the city ordinance, are there?

It would be much easier to bring a civil action for some kind of tort, but Myers apparently can't do that. So I guess no one will?


We've already got "...voter owned trailer parks..." - at least one - (OK without the actual trailers) at Dignity Village.

The fact that prosecutors can't prove criminal intent or their case beyond a reasonable doubt doesn't always stop them in these parts if they don't like the accused or if they want to impress a "victim". I imagine lots of readers can think of examples.

And I have heard of people who use their positions to get sexual favors being tried both criminally and civilly, although the cases that come to mind right now involved minors. A criminal case against Foxworth would be pretty weak imho, but the weakness -or strength-of a case doesn't necessarily seem to be what causes the AG's office to hesitiate.

Emilie might not only be on to something she may be a true trail blazer for all of us little people who have been left out not only of the process of politics, but the spoils. Why should only 'the power elite' live high on the public tab. I'm not interested though in campaign bucks I want a piece of that urban renewal pie that Homer and Dike have been gorging on. I have a piece of property that could use a fresh coat of paint and my family has doubled in size so I need to remodel my upstairs. Why should I go out and get a second mortgage and take all that risk, the city benefits from improvements I make to my neighborhood w/ increased property value so why can't I have some matching funds, some tax exemptions, some really low, low interest or no interest loans, or a pass on some stupid piddly building requirements? Hell if Kohler can have 375ft towers built on fault lines I should be able to turn an attic in to a bedroom without having to rebuild my whole house to bring it up to code. I won't even block anyones view.

The Willamette Week's current article on the Boyles Boondoggle quotes a spokeman for the State AG as saying that violation of most campaign finance laws is a Class C felony, which would mean up to five years in prison. That's what I want to see happen. Five long years for Emilie to contemplate her evil ways.

Frank is correct. It seemed pretty clear to me that the candidate was responsible for compliance to the VOE rules.

Clearly she's liable under ORS 165.825

Sale of drugged horse. (1) No person shall sell or offer for sale any horse that is drugged, tranquilized or otherwise sedated without the consent of the buyer.
(2) Violation of subsection (1) of this section is a misdemeanor.


You're right on target. Don't let those gummnt bastards slow you down.

I was composting lawn clippings in the woods next to my house, and the City of Porkland sent a nuisance inspector out to harass me (it is City owned land). Granted, they never pulled any blackberrys or trimmed the ivy off THEIR trees (I did) but my COMPOSTING of grass clippings was AGAINST THE LAW.

There are people in this neighborhood with RV's parked in their driveways 9 months out of the year, and the Waste Management truck leaks a pint of hydraulic oil every time he makes a three point turn on my cul-de-sac, BUT MY LAWN CLIPPINGS ARE the City's primary concern.

We need a Tram from City Hall to Wapato, and an Attorney General with a nose for graft and corruption.

"Not to overstate the case, but the rules for Voter Owned Elections, such as they are, seem to clearly put personal responsibility on the candidate for eveything that's done in the candidate's name. No excuses, no shifting blame. A tough standard, but fair enough if you expect to use public financing."

But isn't this also a recipe for campaign sabotage and subversion?

If you could show me the state criminal laws that you think you could establish that Boyles personally violated, I'd be very interested in seeing them (off-blog, if you're worried about libel problems).

If the apparently-false signatures translate to contributions in a false name, then she would have violated ORS 260.402(2). And according to ORS 260.993, such a violation "is a Class C felony."

I believe that statute's unenforceable in Multnomah County. Just ask Tom Moyer's secretary.

Besides, I'll bet there's a "knowing" element in that crime, and you could never pin that on Boyles.

"Besides, I'll bet there's a "knowing" element in that crime, and you could never pin that on Boyles."
Are you implying that she is stupid because she let the city give her 150,000? The womans a genius, her talents would be wasted on the City Council, she needs to run for Congress. Crime is for the unimaginative, there are just too many 'legal' ways to steal.


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