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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 22, 2009 5:24 PM. The previous post in this blog was Lents "citizen advisory" group ready to wash hands of Paulson. The next post in this blog is The latest authority. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Spam on Sam

WW has posted reams of documents that it has obtained from the office of Oregon Attorney General John Kroger -- interview records, apparently -- from the now-closed criminal investigation of Portland's mayor. Funny thing, though -- a few hours ago Kroger's office sent them out, apparently by broadcast e-mail, to a large group of people who didn't ask to see them, including yours truly. Tony Green, chief operator of the relentless Kroger press release pump, sent us three e-mail messages totaling more than 23 megabytes of data.

Sheesh! I didn't know that interview records from criminal investigations were public documents. And even if they are, I have never heard of a prosecutor circulating them to people who didn't even ask for them. Curious behavior, if you ask me. But it's been a strange case from Day One -- no surprise that it retains that character at this stage.

Comments (16)

...Most interesting is the resignation letter found on his computer.

"Sheesh! I didn't know that interview records from criminal investigations were public documents."

This is called, "We've done our duty here are all the records, don't even bother to ask us any more about this matter.... Or we will respond... ""We've done our duty here are all the records, don't even bother to ask us any more about this matter"" ... Or we will respond... :-)

How's this for a title: "The Human Press Release"?

Kroger's a shrewdie. He serves up new dirt without having to comment on it. He gets it a little bit both ways.

In other words, Kroger is a ball-less sack of sh**.
Oh well, at least he was kind enough to empty the bag after five months of vacuuming up evidence. Maybe some of it will give the recall effort a lift.

Do not forget -- Sam Adam's buddy, Randy Leonard, is the one who first suggested that Kroger investigate Adams. Also, remember that Kroger and Adams are both Mark Weiner clients.

The fact that Kroger waited until about a week before the recall effort to release his "findings" that absolve Adams of any responsibility is very telling.

They act like it's all over now that Mark Weiner (dba John Kroger) says that they didn't find enough to prosecute. If it was a real investigation, that might be true. Listening to the interviews, however, it's clear that this "investigation" didn't even require people to swear under oath, nor could Kroger actually compell Adams to turn over his cell phone, laptop computer, etc. in a timely fashion.

This "investigation" has been a waste of time and a white wash from the start. It's clear that only the voters can hold Sam Adams accountable. Don't fall for the same old political tricks.

One key overlooked issue here is that in Oregon the Attorney General is NOT a prosecutor. The office was created in the state constitution for civil matters (see Wikipedia). There are certain exceptions that allow for the AG to be a prosecutor, mainly for small counties that lack resources in major cases. Yes, it’s different in other states and at the federal level. But in Oregon Attorney General is mainly the state’s lawyer.

Kroger can take as long as he wants and say what he wants because there are no standards. I’m not aware of the AG investigating a major elected official like this before. That’s the job of the local District Attorney. Schrunk ducked the responsibility because he knew the power hungry new AG wanted to make a name for himself.

I guess this precedent now makes his prosecutorial power wider – with no institutional checks. No big deal, you say? We’re investigating you next.

Consider:

Records released Monday also show that Adams gave $750 to Breedlove in late 2008, just before the scandal broke. Adams dropped off envelopes full of cash with his City Hall receptionist and a City Hall guard to give to Breedlove. Both Adams and Breedlove said the money was a loan to help Breedlove move and make a car payment. Breedlove has not repaid the money.


Kroger's report didn't mention the cash payments -- they came to light only after The Oregonian requested that the Department of Justice release records from its investigation.


The credibility of those involved -- Adams and Breedlove -- played a key part. Both have lied repeatedly and continue to evade questions.


The 17-page report didn't detail misleading statements Adams made during the scandal.

"Because we did not have a prima facie criminal case under any of the theories we investigated, the report makes no assessment of Mr. Adams' credibility," Kroger said.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2009/06/thicket_of_contradictions_sank.html


A word that's repeated numerous times by interviewees within the AG's various interview reports is rather apt in the aftermath: "Awkward"

Quite.

Kroger noted that it's not illegal to lie to a criminal investigator in Oregon....

But what about this? --

Oregon Revised Statutes - 162.235 Obstructing governmental or judicial administration. (1) A person commits the crime of obstructing governmental or judicial administration if the person intentionally obstructs, impairs or hinders the administration of law or other governmental or judicial function by means of intimidation, force, physical or economic interference or obstacle.

Lying to a DOJ investigator certainly creates obstacles, and "obstructs, impairs or hinders."

Ya think?

There's some others here that may seem apropos -- U Pick:
http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/162.html

"Schrunk ducked the responsibility because he knew the power hungry new AG wanted to make a name for himself."

No, I don't think so; Schrunk should be investigated himself for what he doesn't investigate and for what he doesn't permit the Grand Jury to indict.

It is difficult to have dirt on people in high places in Oregon. The "Powerful" pull out all the stops to prevent you from successfully bringing it to the surface. I am beginning to see that this good ole boy problem even affects those with titles, like the AG.

"Fobbing this 'investigation' off on Kroger was payback by Portland insiders for beating their man in the Democrats' AG primary," said Br'er Rabbit.

Mojo, one would think that the AG knowing about the minimal $750 dollars to Beau and the Wiener Coaching would at least do follow up questions, and then possibly ponder, and enforce:

162.325 Hindering Prosecution, (c) Provides or aids in providing such person with money...of avoiding discovery or apprehension or...(d) prevents or obstructs by means of...intimidation or deception...which might aid in discovery. (Note the word "might");

or 162.415 Official Misconduct in the first degree (1) A public servant commits the crime of official misconduct in the first degree if with intent to obtain a benefit...

Where is our AG Kroger on these? Why not let a Grand Jury determine just these two simple statutes? Or where is our local District Attorney Schrunk?

Kroger is clever. By releasing the report a week before the recall starts, Kroger says to the mayor "I'm helping you," but the message he sends to the public by releasing the investigation documents is "he's not a criminal, but the mayor must go."

Portland's gay community is relatively small. From what I understand, a number of folks out there know exactly what happened and are choosing not to comment because they support Sam, feel it's nobody else's business or are protecting the community at large from residual backlash.

So, Breedlove is not to be believed even if someone bothers to take his testimony under oath rather than in an "interview?" If this yardstick were used in other criminal investigations nobody would ever be found guilty of anything.

If Breedlove is to be forever branded a liar because of inconsistencies in his declarations, that puts him in the same boat as Mayor Sam who has been just as inconsistent in his various statements over time.

We are supposed to give the Mayor's version of events greater credence because . . . ?

Put them both under oath, as well as other witnesses, and take their testimony. If someone's lying under those conditions they're perjuring themselves.

And when the Beau breaks, the mayor will fall.

More food for thought, restless nights:

Chapter 162 — Offenses Against the State and Public Justice
http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/162.html

STATE AND PUBLIC JUSTICE OFFENSES
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS

****

OBSTRUCTING GOVERNMENTAL ADMINISTRATION

****

ORS 162.265 Bribing a witness.
ORS 162.275 Bribe receiving by a witness.
ORS 162.285 Tampering with a witness.
ORS 162.295 Tampering with physical evidence.
ORS 162.305 Tampering with public records.
ORS 162.335 Compounding.

And a kicker:

ORS 162.345 Defenses for hindering or compounding limited. It is no defense to a prosecution for hindering prosecution or compounding that the principal offender is not apprehended, prosecuted, convicted or punished.

And forget the potential perjuries -- goosechases with these characters. But, failing to take interviews under oath or penalty of perjury, created freeways of escape from other charges. And just imagine the AG's report if any of the principal subjects refused to swear or affirm to tell the truth for the interviews. Wow.

The hunter who chases two rabbits catches neither one.

Mojo, have you read Convictions? There isn't a case in there where Kroger bagged a higher up without first getting a drug mule or a red handed Enron manager to flip. There was no leverage to tell the truth, anywhere in the Adams investigation. Too nuanced perhaps for an ex-Hell for leather Gyrine East NY AUSA. I bet Nancy Drew could have brought it home. Or even the Mercury.


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