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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 21, 2009 10:01 AM. The previous post in this blog was Fireman Randy's new BFF. The next post in this blog is Airline pricing, now for sporting events. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smackin' the flack? He'll fight back.

Several helpful readers alerted me yesterday when the news broke that former Portland mayoral spokesman Wade Nkrumah is preparing to sue the city and Mayor Creepy for allegedly defaming him after Nkrumah abruptly quit just a few weeks into his job back in January. It was when WW blew the Beau Breedlove scandal wide open, and Nkrumah walked out soon after the mayor admitted that he had been lying his sorry backside off all along about his relationship with the teenage intern.

The mayor had suggested that Nkrumah quit because he couldn't handle the stress of the job, but Nkrumah, who said nothing publicly about his motives at the time, now says he quit because the mayor had proven himself to be too much of a liar to be a spokesman for. Gee, who do you believe, Wade Nkrumah or Sam Adams?

I thought a lot about Nkrumah when I listened to the audiotape of the infamous January meeting among him, the mayor, mayoral {joke} "sustainability advisor" {/joke} Amy Ruiz, and Nigel Jaquiss, Hank Stern, and Mark Zusman of WW. This was just days before the weekly newspaper dropped the bomb on the mayor. Nkrumah and Ruiz were acting all rough and tough with the boys from the Double Dub, copping an attitude of "You don't have anything, so don't mess with us." (Nkrumah pipes up at around 22, 24, and 27 minutes into the tape, and he turns a bit nasty at about 25 minutes.) When soon thereafter it became clear that everything Jaquiss said was true, and most of what Adams had told him was a lie, Nkrumah did the honorable thing and cleaned out his desk.

Would you lie for your boss? I wouldn't, particularly if I had recently left my job as a legitimate journalist and was newly entering the world of public relations. In that line of work, all you've got to sell is your credibility, and there are few people or causes worth wasting it on. Certainly a guy like the mayor doesn't qualify -- not even close.

It will be interesting to see what happens to Ruiz, another ex-journalist who's toughing it out as part of the Creepy damage control team. When her time with Adams is over -- and it could be any week now -- she may wish that she had made the same decision as Nkrumah. It will also be fascinating to see how far Nkrumah's replacement, Roy Kaufmann, will go for the mayor as the scandal and the recall wear on.

Comments (18)

It is a bit confounding why they bother to show up to work every day.
I also wonder if Adams ever thinks the worst is over for him.

Is Amy Ruiz that stooooopid ?????

She will become unemployable also as the fit hits the shan....

From what I've read about these kind of tort claims against employers, if a settlement is reached and the plaintiff wins, they have to pay taxes on the entire amount of the settlement and cannot deduct the legal/lawyer fees as an expense.. often times, the plaintiff owes the IRS more than they are awarded in total..

Wade gave us an Elliot Richardson moment, and Portland should be grateful.

Of course, his BS detector should have gone off a lot sooner and probably did.

Remember when Sam went to court to block Dozono from getting money for his campaign based on a technicality, after talking about how much Portland needed this debate? I'm paraphrasing, but I do remember thinking at that moment that Sam was shoveling the BS with Nixonian gusto. It was clear to me right then that he enjoyed lying.

Here's a fun couple of quotes from those days taken from an OPB story:

Sho Dozono: “I think it’s a good question for the public to ask Commissioner Adams is what his reason for trying to take out his most viable opponent, when he said at the point that I filed that he was looking forward to a robust discussion of the issues.”

Jennifer Yocom(One of Sam's people): “Let’s be very clear: Mr. Dozono’s problems are of his own making.”

Yeah, and we wouldn't want a mayor whose problems are of his own making. That would be horrible.

Think I'll grab some popcorn for the pre-trial discovery in this one.

"I'm paraphrasing, but I do remember thinking at that moment that Sam was shoveling the BS with Nixonian gusto."

Might I suggest Nixonian Giusto?

Why is the city liable? Assuming the allegation is true, how was Adams BS'ing related to the performance of official duties? I could understand if Nkrumah sued Adams and Adams sought to use the city as a shield, but it sounds like Nkrumah is going after the city direct.

How much liability does the city have for Adams? If Breedlove or his parents claim damages either from the relationship itself or Adams subsequent conduct, is the city liable?

Re: city involvement

My guess is that because Sammy boy opened his mouth in an official capacity as Mayor to the press, the city is now on the hook.

It's a debatable claim, but all tort claims are.

Ordinarily attorney's fees are not available in tort claims. I presume there was a separation agreement which included an attorney's fee provision. It probably outlined the response each side would give when asked about the reason for his resignation.
The TC notice is designed to preserve one of probably a number of claims. Vicarious liability is a broad concept in Oregon, and the City will be statutorily responsible for defense costs, but I sure hope Creepy is determined personally liable for damages.

Why is the city liable? Assuming the allegation is true, how was Adams BS'ing related to the performance of official duties?

Sam was speaking in his capacity as mayor, not as "citizen Sam Adams." It's kind of how if you get hit by a UPS truck, you sue UPS, not the driver personally.

Conversely, if the guy who Sam hit up in Jantzen Beach decided to sue, he'd sue Sam Adams, not the city.

Interesting that Nkrumah took the right course in resigning to protect and sustain the credibility he built up as a professional yet Ruiz stays on the job which is to do her professional best to "sustain" the credibility of her lying boss.

Well, Ruiz and Yocom and most of the kids working in his majesty's office have a big problem. They aren't particularly employable in the private sector. They are young and probably haven't put aside any money. The Mercury doesn't pay jack and Yocom was mostly working as a contractor for campaigns. Nkrumah, on the other hand, had better creds for a job.

Adams has a much bigger staff than the job warrants. I don't know how many Potter had, but I know it was way less.

He's kind of like Hitler in the bunker. He surrounds himself with young sychophants who will continue to tell him what he wants to hear until the Russian tanks are on the steps of city hall. Then they will all bail while Adams does the political equivalent of blowing his brains out.

I invoke Godwin's law.

This thread is closed.

It's kind of how if you get hit by a UPS truck, you sue UPS, not the driver personally.

Of course, deeper pockets. This is America after all.

Now do you understand why I don't want Randy for Acting Mayor? He's a bully.

It's kind of how if you get hit by a UPS truck, you sue UPS, not the driver personally.

Not. It's more like you get hit by a UPS employee driving his own pick-up on his own time, and you sue UPS for that.


Amy Ruiz could do a Beau Breedlove and pose for Hustler. Larry Flint would jump at the opportunity to do a spread based on the scandal. She could have her shoot in an early 20th century style office building mens room like they have a City Hall. I bet that's worth an all expenses paid trip to LA and an easy $10,000 from Hustler.

Ms. Ruiz put herself in an extraordinarily bad position and there's just no doubt that her best option is resigning, and yesterday. It's going to be a real spectacle to see what happens to her next, as she has committed to forging her name in this crucible of stupidity. At least Breedlove has owned up to the realities of his character. Ruiz should be so lucky.


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