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Friday, August 19, 2011

Another blown story

The folks at the O, who wrote a gushy puff piece back in June about Mike Burton's "retirement" from the real estate development firm Portland State University, must be awfully embarrassed today. Burton, former head of Metro and an ex-state legislator, actually resigned amid allegations that he falsified his travel records to make a personal trip to Europe look like a business trip.

Portland State says it wants its money back. Why isn't Mike Schrunk or John Kroger in this picture? And what other frauds has Burton committed? Besides being the brains behind the disastrous WES train, that is.

Comments (17)

Maybe he took his cue from the mayor.

Hey, the mayor's trips involve extensive fact-finding about sustainability.

Did not the Zero pull this stunt with exGov. Neil Goldy?

If I remember correctly, Neil (when faced with WW's expose) went to the Zero Editors and spun the "I'm having heart probs, so I am resigning the President of the Higher Ed Board" tale, and then when having to admit the babysitter rape, spun it as a "consensual affair with a teenager".

The Zero-gonian is either massively incompetent or totally dishonest, or both.

"...must be awfully embarrassed today." I highly doubt it, but with their history of Packwood, Goldy etc, one could only hope.

Its not just "where are Schrunk and / or Kroger, but also where is Dwight Holton, the acting US Attorney.

If the US mail was used to submit the travel claim, or used to deliver a check to Burton, or if PSU spent federal grant dollars on Burton's trip, federal criminal law is also implicated.

It's amazing to me that the more power a person has the more impervious they become to actually receiving consequences for their nefarious behavior.
But boy howdy the lowly taxpayer better not forget to pay their Portland parking ticket!

Nonny - Theft of honest services should be added in with that mail fraud charge.

Hey, he just wanted to celebrate his step-daughter's 50th birthday, and happened to be in the area. Also, he got sick, and spent 3 days in a hotel. And the dog ate his homework. The sun was in his eyes. There were locusts! And a flood. Swear to God, it wasn't his fault!

Those who were paying attention already knew he was dishonest. Burton was the clown who claimed in the Voter's Pamphlet that he had a PhD from "Columbia," implying Columbia University, the Ivy League school in New York, when it was really a through-the-mail diploma mill in New Orleans. Most people, including The O just yawned at the time.

Shrunk is a do nothing when it comes to corruption and criminal cops. Why would this case be any different than any other with him?

The Oregonian has had award winning reporters and has won Pulitzer Prizes. Has. Had. Was. In the past. It's an old brand name, like RCA, that once meant something. Papers are dying.

Where's John Kroger? I'd guess he's having a tough time deciding whether to make waves with the PSU Administration. He is married to PSU Dean of Student Life Michele Toppe.

But he is sworn to uphold the law no matter if he might have some silent car rides ahead...

Re: "Besides being the brains behind the disastrous WES train"

Send this to rewrite: brains had nothing to do with WES train.
Venality, yes. Brains -- nowhere discernible.

He's one of my favorite clones.

Metro Exec. Mike Burton.
State of the Region Speech, 2000

"Traffic congestion is bad and getting worse.
It is a nightmare for commuters and it is choking freight mobility.
There is no more clear illustration of our inability to meet growth needs than our failure to address our transportation needs.
Within the transportation arena we are facing utter chaos."

So what has the racket done since then?
Streetcars, Light Rail, subsidized Metro development & massive debt while planning even bigger boondoggles with MLR, LO streetcar, and CRC/Light Rail.

All while avoiding or preventing any public votes.

Not only is Burton ethically challenged, he won't admit wrongdoing even when presented with overwhelming proof of his misdeeds. He has no shame. It's frightening that he was able to get elected and re-elected so many times in his long political career.

In a masterful statement of the obvious, Burton notes that this impugns his credibility. But what is his defense?

Second question, a bit late. Why does a university hire someone who has been deceitful in the past about his education into a high level position ?

Marylhurst let him be the dean of the business school so why would Portland State be any wiser than them? And I Googled and found this bit of info:

Per the Marylhurst Catalog, Burton had a BS from Oregon State and an M. Ed. from U. of Portland back in '88. By '92 he was boasting of his PhD from Columbia University.


Lucs Advo

You frequently post about the federal "theft of honest services" statute, 18 USC 1346.

You do understand that a unanimous Supreme Court (tighty righties and loonie lefties) gutted the application of that statute more than a year ago. don't you.

US v Skilling.

See, http://www.forbes.com/2010/06/25/honest-services-supreme-court-opinions-contributors-james-d-zirin.html

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