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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 17, 2011 2:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was More sleaze from the Oregon "lottery". The next post in this blog is Who says one little Tweet can't say it all?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Feds charge Ellis McCoy with bribery

Portland City Hall -- a den of corruption, both legal and illegal -- sees one of its practitioners take a fall. Under Sam Adams, transportation commissioner, of course.

Usually in a case like this, the next question is, "Who knew?" But in this case, everybody at City Hall knew that McCoy was up to no good -- including Adams, transportation director Sue Keil, and McCoy's supervisor, Lavinia Gordon. Keil and Gordon are gone now, and Adams will be soon. Maybe he ought to resign before the feds start sniffing around his office and bank accounts.

UPDATE, 2:59 p.m.: Maxine Bernstein at the O has lots of new details, including this interesting tidbit:

A day after the raid of his office in the Portland Building, McCoy professed his innocence to reporters, telling the media in multiple interviews outside his Hillsboro apartment that he did not take any kickbacks or bribes to influence any contracts.

Yet by then, McCoy had spent hours cooperating with federal authorities, admitting he had received checks from Levey and pleading to do his time at the federal prison in Sheridan. Because of his cooperation, the case was not taken to a grand jury.

UPDATE, 3:51 p.m.: Here's the U.S. attorney's press release, via Willamette Week. With just one count, it seems certain that a deal has been struck and he's going to plead guilty.

UPDATE, 11:24 p.m.: The criminal charge, contained in an "information," is here. He is charged with violating 18 USC sec. 666, which bears a prison term of up to 10 years and a substantial fine (we think up to $250,000, but don't quote us on that, and besides, McCoy's seemingly broke enough to have a federal public defender).

Comments (21)

Will the feds make McCoy do the perp walk?

Maybe he ought to resign before the feds start sniffing around his office and bank accounts.

And ask how he got caught up on his mortgage payments to avoid foreclosure ...

Maybe he never had to stuff that envelope of cash he dropped off for his boy-toy, and just passed it on?

Yet by then, McCoy had spent hours cooperating with federal authorities,


Woah. Does anyone ever cooperate with the feds and then wind up being the only person charged?

Of course, the "big fish" here could be the owner of the smart meters, who may have similar financial arrangements with people in McCoy's position in cities all over the country.

Just exactly how did Sam the Scam pay for his mortgages?

So what I can't believe:

How does he know what prison to ask to go to? Why would a normal person know that, I certainly have no idea?

Where did all the money go? He got $124k and he still gets a public defender and we have to pay to defend him? (I suspect it will come out that he has a gambling problem and the Oregon Lottery has gotten all of the money he received, thus completing the circle.)

How does he know what prison to ask to go to? Why would a normal person know that, I certainly have no idea?

Well, if you were facing federal charges and knew that you were guilty, and that the feds could probably prove it very easily, you might google "federal prisons in Oregon." The FCI: Sheridan is the very first link if you do that.

What did Sam know and when did he know it?

Weren't there one or more employees who complained about McCoy, and then were disciplined/harassed/pushed out of City employment? Wonder if their vindication will come at a price to the City?

Now that the little fish has been charged how long before he rolls over and pleads out and fingers the big ones ?

opps.. note to self.
read the whole thing first...

Wow! And the County DA was all ready to prosecute too.

One issue: these folks are not "commissioners". They are Portland City Council members. It's about time to stop inflating their egos.

Jack I thought you'd be yawning.
Whaddya think this is? Jersey? In more ways than one.

Max, Portland operates under the city commissioner form of government. You've posted that comment twice now. It's going nowhere.

All corrupt government officials shouldn't be in FCI Sheridan...a "white collar resort" prison.

They should be in ADX Florence, a "pound me in the ass" prison.

(My respects to Office Space.)

That's waaaay wrong, Erik. Another example of how f'd up our society is.

Couldn't help but to recall this now:

McCoy persuaded the city in March 2010 to increase Cale’s contract from about $4.4 million to more than $20 million, without competitive bids.


McCoy’s consulting company was not a secret, as it was filed as a business with the Oregon secretary of state’s office since 2004. Asked how the city missed that McCoy had set up a consulting company, Adams said McCoy was questioned about it but denied violating city policies.

Adams said that the FBI on Sept. 1 showed him copies of checks from Cale Parking Systems and Levey to McCoy and McCoy’s consulting company.
“The city did not have the details regarding the checks until that interview,” Adams said.

Wasn't it enough that the city knew of this consulting company, seems Adams or someone from his large staff could have checked details if McCoy was questioned.

McCoy is due to appear in U.S. District Court in Portland on Dec. 8 at 1:30 p.m.

Any chance Adams or others may be called to testify under oath or is this only for McCoy?

I wonder how soon the feds will expose the kickbacks from all the meter coin collectors given to McCoy?

And when will the Oregon's Secretary of State and AG Kroger investigate, then fine, at minimum, the fiduciary irresponsibility of Sam Adams and Council, knowing about the sideline business of McCoy, conflict of interest, and contract going from $4 Million to $20 Million and not inquiring why/how? There are too many things that were overlooked where excuses can't be accepted.

I lost faith in Kroger when nothing was done regarding Mayor taking an envelope of cash to the clerk’s desk...

I lost faith in Kate Brown, Secretary of State when she hired our State Elections Director.

Back in 2003 and 2004, Black Box Voting issued a "Gotta Be Replaced" list of election officials we considered to be particularly problematic . Most of them have since been fired or have resigned. On this list was Scott Konopasek of San Bernardino County, Calif., and his sidekick, Stephen Trout. Konopasek referred to citizens who wished to observe elections as "terrorists." In front of a New York Times reporter (Konopasek didn't realize that Adam Cohen was with the New York Times when he said this), Konopasek told Black Box Voting investigators that sometimes he had to "massage the data" as it comes in through the pipeline.

Trout was present at the time, and ran up to the counter to order Black Box Voting to stop videotaping. He was even more obnoxious than Konopasek, which is a bit of a feat. Shortly afterward Konopasek and Trout both resigned. Trout and Konopasek then joined with a third "Gotta Be Replaced" official, Riverside County's Mischelle Townsend, to form a consulting group.

It is with surprise, then, that we see the state of Oregon hiring Stephen Trout to head up its state elections division.

As the article says, he's a veteran elections official. Yes, and he has been a supporter of paperless touch-screens and worse, has demonstrated a dreadful attitude towards citizen oversight.

Oregon's 100% vote-by-mail system conceals not only the counting (done on optical scan machines) but also conceals who casts the ballots and the ballot chain of custody. With Trout's hiring, Oregon's elections will now be overseen by a public official who was hostile to public oversight in California. Not a good sign at all for Oregon, but perhaps this will at last take the varnish off Oregon's very popular but heavily concealed vote by mail system. There's nothing like an obstructive public official for motivating citizens to take a closer look!

Oregonians, Black Box Voting has put the on our Watch List due to this hiring decision, and we recommend renewed vigilence by public citizens for all facets of Oregon elections. We will assist by providing suggestions customized to your vote by mail system as we move toward the 2010 mid-term elections.


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