Oregon Ethics Commission Considers Concealing, Destroying Public Recordings

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission is supposed to be the watchdog for how public officials behave. They slapped big fines on former Gov. John Kitzhaber and his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, for breaching rules separating public service and private business. Ethics commissioners also review many lower-profile complaints involving teachers and bureaucrats — all with an eye toward protecting taxpayer resources….


Column: Oregon hits tiny paper with pricey lawsuit after it seeks public records

Les Zaitz says he’s got more pressing matters to attend to than being sued by the government.

Zaitz is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise, a 1,400-circulation weekly in Vale, Oregon. The town’s an old stop on the Oregon Trail up against the Idaho border. The paper is one of those little community weeklies that have been struggling all over the country, victims of tectonic shifts in tastes and business models.

Now this one’s also got $400-an-hour taxpayer-financed attorneys to reckon with.


John Sepulvado – My View: (Oregon’s) open records laws need overhaul

In elementary school, Franklin Weekley was diagnosed as “mentally retarded.” He was slow to learn, but quick to act out on impulse. Teachers at his rural school were unequipped to get a handle on him. Weekley ended up spending much of his time at home. Unsupervised, he often would get in trouble.


Bills would limit Oregon public records law

From San Francisco Chronicle:

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Want to find out if a particular motel has bedbugs? … Who won the lottery? … How much a retired public employee is earning from a pension?

Some in the Oregon Legislature want to keep that information confidential, and several bills would cut off public access to those records.


GUEST VIEWPOINT: Inconvenience the price for open government

From The Register-Guard:

In his March 25 Commentary article, Robert Roth included a partial quotation from me to suggest that I have concerns with the court’s ruling in Dumdi vs. Handy. That is not the case. I always have believed that Oregon’s Open Meetings Law prohibited the conduct that led the court to conclude two Lane County commissioners willfully violated Oregon’s public meeting law.