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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 22, 2009 1:33 PM. The previous post in this blog was "Major league" soccer -- in the dead of winter?. The next post in this blog is The ball's back in Willamette Week's court. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Monday, June 22, 2009

Kroger comes through for Sam the Tram

"Insufficient evidence to charge." Insufficient to recall? Time will tell.

Even if the recall fails, do you think he'll make it through a full term as mayor? It seems unlikely. But the full-scale municipal nervous breakdown will doubtlessly linger as long as he does.

Comments (26)

If Sam looses his houses to foreclosure, I guess he can always move into that now infamous men's room at city hall?
If Sam was a hetero male and had gone after a 17 year old girl, he would be in jail now.

I like how they cite Breedlove's previous lying as a reason to not believe his testimony, but make no mention whatsoever of the lies spewed forth by the Mayor. They both have credibility issues, but Sam has a lot more to gain (or preserve) by lying.

Based on your headline, you feel that your former coworker is a simple political hack?

From the start, I have noted the close political ties that Kroger and Adams share, and wondered why this matter could not have been resolved by the city police and county district attorney. I don't think they have any greater conflict than the attorney general has.

The timing and the content of the report could not have been better for Adams.

When reading the investigation and you start to laugh you know it is poorly done. Just another example of how corrupt the State of Oregon Goldy protecting another!

And Portland can be so proud...two pedophile mayors allowed to just go on in life like nothing happened! RECALL ADAMS and FIRE AMY RUIZ NOW!

It's probably the correct result. The AG's investigation had to focus on finding instances of law-breaking, not on tawdry behavior, and he couldn't find any law-breaking he could prove.

The law requiring a 6-month delay in recalling newly elected officials doesn't seem right. The most obvious reason why a newly elected official would be recalled is because of discovery of lies or bad acts concealed during the campaign. These people shouldn't be protected.

Sex abuse cases often lack physical evidence to present. If physical evidence was necessary, very few indictments would ever be be brought forward. Most of the incriminating information offered in sex abuse trials comes from the victim's testimony. When the victim lacks credibility, the judge or jury can usually see through it. In this case no judge or jury will have a chance to decide.

Although this decision does not exonerate the Mayor, it certainly condemns the alleged victim by naming him as a probable liar (lacks credibility).

Was Beau treated differently than alleged female sex abuse victims because he was a male or because he is gay? Unknown to me as the AG seems like a pretty fair guy, but Beau will never get his side out now. Unless of course he sues in civil court making this latest finding only part of the ongoing saga.

The AG's investigation had to focus on finding instances of law-breaking, not on tawdry behavior, and he couldn't find any law-breaking he could prove.

The attorney general is more than just a prosecutor. He is the standard-bearer of all of the state's laws, civil and criminal, and he should play a role in establishing honest and ethical governance throughout the state. Adams, although not convictable of crimes at this point, surely has violated the spirit, if not the letter, of many of the state's laws regarding ethics in government. The attorney general could have, on his own motion, addressed some of those issues, but apparently has chosen not to.

Will Sam be getting a refund on those upfront legal expenses?

It's a disappointing report but not surprising, considering the players. Yet even if legal action had been taken Adams surely would have declared a determination to fight the charges anyway. Recall was and remains the most reliable route to removal, whatever its chances of success may be.

The voters of Portland gave the office to Adams and they're going to have to take it away.

The most telling part of the report is buried in Footnote 6, in time-honored legal tradition (and, jfwells, explains why there's no mention of Sam's credibility issues):

"Because we have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to charge Adams with this offense [illegal sexual contact with a minor], it is unnecessary to address the question of the credibility of Adams' denial of Breedlove's contentions."

Kinda lets DOJ off the political hook on that one...

'Insufficient evidence to prosecute a criminal charge beyond a reasonable doubt' -- yeah, I read it the same way you do, Jack. Of course, unreasonable minds may remain loaded and locked anywhere between 'doubt' and 'convinced' ... or, I supposed, 'abhorred.'

Speaking of unreasoning mentalities, LIARS dontchaknow read the same AG report today and said that it says: "no charges would be brought at this time."

Okay, one more time if perhaps I might. Professional Journalism has 5 W's, and a How, in every news item in order to mete the measure of professional credibility -- Who What Where When Why, and How. (BTW, can you recall the last time you read or heard a news item that included 'Why' we taxpayers pay for our Iraq Invasion?)

There is NO Would. There is NO Will. (Nor Wouldn't nor Won't) In true News Journalism. If this would have been a normal older man and the victim would have been an underage female he would lie about, and what it would look like, he would be toast in this town and would have been tossed in jail, would have been what would have happened, and you know it would've -- would've taken us down what would've been the slippery slope -- and everybody you ask would know it and what the recall effort would have been would be a unanimous jury ruling that would throw the book at what would have been the mayor. Wouldn't it? brrzzzzt! no news reporter would say that, LIARS would.

Having said that, I am glad Nigel Jaquis broke the story and I agree Adams acted improperly. And I forgive a lot because Adams publicly confessed he lied and he called it a "lie." And if he is an unbalanced personality then we can expect him to fall down again, and at any second strike he is out, deservedly and promptly removed from Office.

Until then, I would try to stop him from dealing in public corruptions such as giving Paulson as little as the time of day.

But, hey, a recall effort is a valid option for anyone, even LIARS has given it his smoochiest blessing kiss, what could possibly go wrong ... go wrong ... go wrong ...

Questions: City law enforcement has LESS connection to the mayor than the state AG?!

The attorney general is more than just a prosecutor. He is the standard-bearer of all of the state's laws, civil and criminal, and he should play a role in establishing honest and ethical governance throughout the state.

Yes, and he should do this by _enforcing laws_, not inventing new ones on the fly. I'm interested in a more detailed justification of this view, esp from someone steeped in the law.

The timing and the content of the report could not have been better for Adams.

The AG decided not to prosecute, that was a pretty binary decision. So you must mostly mean the timing? I would argue that the earlier the better, this is most certainly not the best time for Adams to get this news. I would say pre-crash, pre-foreclosure, pre-Lents, pre-budget, pre-anything-that-needs-political-capital would have been the best.

Most interesting thing - Does this embolden Sam or handicap him?

I'm disappointed in Kroger not convening a grand jury where telling the truth is a requirement. In all of the AG's investigation, not once was "telling the truth" a requirement. Even the AG's investigator said a Oregon citizen doesn't need to tell Oregon police the truth, nor even to the questions that the AG's office asked.

When both parties of major concern in Kroger's investigation both had recent pasts of not telling the truth, it seems appropriate to have a grand jury requiring, hopefully, the truth.

There is also the aspect of the credibility of a grand jury review. Being questioned by one's peers would help the doubts held by either side of this affair. Kroger's actions will only feed the disillusionments in this whole affair.

I guess I don't see Creepy Sam as a king, but rather a pathetic pawn in a political machine, one that would operate to keep Kroger from getting the evidence he needs. I think his energy would be better spent trying to discern the dynamics of the machine-and going for its kingpens.

I'm really dissapointed. Like seeing your favorite team lose the Stanley Cup. However, as sure as the mighty Red Wings will be back in contention again next year, I'm confident that Sam will be in hot water before you can say "Sauvie Island Bridge". Let the wild nonsense begin!

Kroger's no Patrick Fitzgerald, that's for sure. Not even a "there's a dark cloud over the mayor's office" statement. Nothing. It's like he's been unwillingly called in to diagnose a car problem he's not interested in and intends to say only what is required to make sure none of this follows him anywhere.

C'mon was anybody really surprised by all this showmanship?

You don't get elected Mayor by a democratic process and you certainly don't get justice by a fair process.

Now that the Mayor is totally under the thumbs of the power brokers, there is no need for this criminal angle.

This whole "investigation" only served as a warning shot across the bow to keep Mister Kissy in line.

Like it or not--this was probably the correct result. Absent physical evidence--or testimony from the victim as to the nature of the crime--it would be awfully hard to win a conviction. In this case, there was no physical evidence, and Breedlove is of little use to prosecutors--the best shot for an Adams prosecution was a third-party witness. And while there is certainly smoke there--the city hall men's room--there doesn't appear to be fire.

Has Adams gotten away with something as a result? Quite possibly. But I don't see proof beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime was committed.

Which--as you point out--is a far different question than the one Portland voters will have to make concerning his political future.


Agreed. Even though our Mayor is lying, manipulative, and incompetent and I have no doubt that his "relationship" with Mr. Breedlove was both an abuse of power and a crime, I can understand why Kroger didn't want to pursue this case.

If Kroger went after the Mayor, he would have set himself up as junior-varsity Ken Starr, accused of criminalizing sex and wasting taxpayer money on a political vendetta. Any charges would have galvanized the Mayor's tottering support by giving them a villain - Kroger. His office would have spent valuable time and resources trying to prove a "he said, he said" case in a hostile political environment with an unreliable key witness.

So Kroger washed his hands of the whole thing, something most of us wish we could do.

But we can't get clean without the recall. The job now falls to Portlanders to make sure that the recall effort succeeds. Kroger didn't do our work for us, and I can't blame him. But seeing the Mayor bleat about his "vindication," that he did nothing wrong, only makes the recall effort that much more important.

We need to ditch this guy.

assuming for the moment that the AG's office is the one to prosecute this case, I can't see Kroger pushing for a prosecution with such crappy evidence. My impression has been that he takes his ethical obligations as a prosecutor seriously (do justice). Wasting time, money, and the good will of the public toward the AG's office on this dog of a case is a non-starter.

Here's a link to relevant Oregon law on sex crimes, for all the non-lawyers (like me). Jack, I assume, knows this already.

One thing that is worth noting, is that there are three crimes cited which Adams would have committed, if it is in fact the case that he and Breedlove had sex prior to Breedlove's 18th birthday:

1) Sexual abuse in the third degree (163.415)
2) Contributing to the deliquency of a minor (163.435)
3) Sexual misconduct (163.445)

All three of these offenses are MISDEMEANORS. The more serious sexual offenses (the felonies) require either a victim under 16 (and for some offenses younger than that), or a lack of consent not based solely on the victim's age (i.e. force or threat, getting someone drunk, etc). As there are no allegations, from Breedlove or anyone else, that the relationship was non-consensual (ignoring the age-of-consent doctrine), nor are there any allegations that anything happened prior to Breedlove's 16th birthday, there is no reason for a grand jury to get involved. Use of a GJ as an interrogation tool when there is virtually no chance of a felony indictment would be highly irregular, and would certainly invite numerous comparisons with Ken Starr if done in regards to a public official.

The man has never held a real job. Nuf said

I see this as another of Sam's "Teachable Moments."

If you misbehave dishonorably, abuse your position, manipulate and take advantage of others, place hedonistic pleasures above responsible and respectable behavior... just make sure you and those around you lie well enough and often enough to obfuscate the situation beyond any chance of your being held accountable for your actions.

Thank you, Sam.

Is anyone writing a book on this yet?


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
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Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
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L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
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