Weekday Wrap: Oregon’s ethics commission to pause probe into liquor officials’ bourbon scandal

By OPB staff (OPB)
July 13, 2023 7:10 p.m.

Stories you may have missed from staff reports and our news partners around the region

To avoid overlap with criminal investigation, Oregon ethics watchdog puts its probe on hold

State ethics watchdogs plan to pause their investigation while a criminal investigation proceeds into six former high-ranking Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission employees implicated in a bourbon-hoarding scandal. Susan Meyer, the Oregon Government and Ethics Commission’s compliance and education coordinator, said the panel put its probe on hold to avoid overlapping with the state Department of Justice’s investigation. The latter investigation stems from findings first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive in February that all six used their positions to divert rare, expensive bourbons for their own use. (Julia Shumaway/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

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Ex-US attorney, who appeared on ‘Survivor,’ to face state senator in Washington AG race

Nick Brown, who recently stepped down as U.S. attorney in Seattle, announced Wednesday he’s running to be Washington’s next attorney general, setting up a contest with state Sen. Manka Dhingra, a longtime prosecutor herself. Brown, 46, served less than two years as the top federal prosecutor for western Washington before stepping down in June in anticipation of the campaign. He was the state’s first Black U.S. attorney. The Democrat previously worked as general counsel to Gov. Jay Inslee, as a litigation partner at a prominent Seattle law firm and — in a less common qualification for the job — as a contestant on the second season of the reality show “Survivor,” which aired in 2001. Attorney General Bob Ferguson kicked off an exploratory campaign for governor in May after Inslee said he wouldn’t seek a fourth term. (Associated Press)

Wallowa schools hires new interim superintendent

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The Wallowa School District has hired an interim superintendent as outgoing Superintendent Tammy Jones is leaving her position. The district recently signed a one-year contract with Jennifer Johnson, who has worked the past five years as a federal reviewer for the Head Start program and served at various levels of school administration for 16 years. Johnson and her husband live in Toledo, Oregon, and conducted her reviews for Head Start on the road. (Bill Bradshaw/The Wallowa Chieftain)

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Related: New Oregon superintendents unveil plans for first days in office

Study finds 2020 wildfire survivors are more likely to prepare for future disasters

People directly affected by Oregon’s Labor Day wildfires of 2020 are more likely to prepare for future wildfires and contribute to emergency response activities, according to an Oregon State University study. The research found that communication from friends, family and neighbors factored heavily in a person’s decision to prepare and general concern about climate change. (Brian Bull/KLCC)

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Lane County’s homeless population has nearly doubled in 5 years

An annual survey found that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Lane County has increased 72% since 2018. About three-quarters of people counted in this year’s point-in-time survey, completed in January, were entirely without shelter. (Miranda Cyr/Eugene Register-Guard)

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