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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 12, 2011 11:49 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland water bureau played poker on Carollo deal. The next post in this blog is Safe, clean nuclear power takes five more victims. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Mike Burton Travelgate case goes to next level

Here's one they hoped to bury in the weekend: Mike Burton, resigned Portland State University bureaucrat and ex-Metro bigwig, is about to undergo a state government ethics commission inquiry into charges that he improperly billed the university for travel to England and France last fall. Burton allegedly claimed to be attending conferences that never in fact took place.

Comments (19)

Maybe he'll get socked with a $75 fine.

The horror...

No wonder a college education has gone up something like 4-5 times the rate of inflation.

As people could no longer afford to go into debt buying a house, the next scam was set up- sending your kids to college. A perfect scam too because who has the guts to call the money lenders bluff and not pay the going rate for your child's education.

That is why the rules for borrowing money for college actually got secretly written into Obama's healthcare act.

Ethics commission?

Where are the MultCo DA; the AG; and the US Attorney?

What a farce.

I think the conferences took place, he just wasnt there during those dates. I wish these guys could be charged with stupidity, since this guy does not seem to exactly be a criminal mastermind.

The conferences he submitted as documentation took place

1. The prior year
2. In a different month

So he submitted false documentation to support his Expense account

That was no accident

Remember, this was the gentleman who, while "teaching" at Marylhurst, claimed to have a PhD from Columbia. His PhD was from Columbia State, a mail-order diploma mill. Somebody ought to check his expense reports while he worked at Metro!

Mike Parr

Don't be surprised if all of these violations of trust by our elected officials weren't first vetted by attorneys who assured them they weren't technically doing anything illegal so there was nothing to worry about except possibly an ethics violation slap on the wrist.

Based on nothing but what are amounting to be overwhelming cases of empirical evidence, right and wrong seem to have a special definition here in Oregon. How much more proof does an observer need?

I'll defer to Mr Bog, but if these weren't for business purpose trips shouldn't they have been reported as income/compensation and that taxes would be due?

"I think the conferences took place, he just wasnt there during those dates."

You mean kinda like Sam vanishing for days at a stretch when he was supposed to be at the conferences?

Somebody ought to check his expense reports while he worked at Metro!

Sorry, but I believe that the statute of limitations has expired, and Metro no longer has those records.

I worked for this guy at Metro. Second tier down. Close enough in the system to see what was going on. Mike Burton had the capacity to treat subordinates poorly, burst in tantrums and use profanity in the workplace. He was an arrogant butthead - inappropriate for a person at his level and of his supposed stature. He may or may not be "guilty" of fraud. That will have to be sorted out by others with access to information. But, it has been my professional observation over the decades (I used to conduct internal investigations), that arrogant buttheads in the workplace believe themselves so above the "common person," they often slip into a pattern of deceit and personal corruption.

And here I'm worried about whether the boss will question $12.00 (with tip) I spent on lunch at a famous grinder (Subway style sandwich) makers in St. Cloud.

Given the way we do bidness in Oregon, I would expect Mike Burton to be teaching government ethics at PSU within the year.

Gee this is shameful. Too bad this putz Burton appears to have no shame about this matter. At least here in Reno, the public officials admit we're broke and cut staff. And a few months ago they simply told the police and fire unions that unless they were willing to take a cut in pay, that positions would be lost. The unions caved.
I don't seem to see any of that going on in Oregon, even though it looks like state tax revenues are in the dumper and Portland sounds more desperate for revenue every day.

Portland State needs a management coach before things get out of hand.

You mean kinda like Sam vanishing for days at a stretch when he was supposed to be at the conferences?

I'm no fan of Sam, but at least Sam traveled to those locations with at least some intention of participating. Mike Burton didn't intend to go, didn't travel there, and still filed an expense report. That's quite a difference.

Nonny - I could fall off my chair laughing at your post.

"Ethics commission?

Where are the MultCo DA; the AG; and the US Attorney?"

Since when has that illustrious trio of legal malfeasance ever prosecuted much of anything involving public official wrongdoing in this state?

What a farce, in deed.

Burton's billboard said enough.

It implied that building a few roads would result in starvation of the population.

It said something like:
"If all farms were roads, what would we eat?"

What an a-hole

Well, his and those who were devotees of Metro plan can now see the folly.
Our best farmland within the UGB has been taken away by development, outside farmland peppered with McMansions and land that used to grow food now growing urban street trees and as I shop I see food coming in stamped: Product of China!

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