The Oregonian reported today that Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s office actively helped Rep. Larry Galizio (D-Tigard) secure a job with the Oregon University System.
State Rep. Larry Galizio got help from Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s office to secure a job with the Oregon University System, a spokeswoman for the governor confirmed today.
There are questions whether Rep. Galizio’s state job prospects were enhanced by his vote to block development near the Metolius River. Rep. Galizio initially voted against the bill (HB 3298), but reversed his position and supported one of the Governor’s top priorities in 2009.
The appointment, announced Wednesday, raised some eyebrows among Salem insiders because Galizio made a dramatic about-face and provided the crucial vote to bar a resort from being developed near the Metolius River — an outcome Kulongoski desired.
Rep. Galizio denies trading his vote for the state job, claiming he never talked to the Governor about working for the state’s university system.
In an interview with The Oregonian, Galizio said he made no deal with Kulongoski to exchange his vote for a job. “That’s laughable,” said the Tigard Democrat.
However, The Oregonian discovered that Rep. Galizio had multiple conversations with the Governor’s Office regarding employment opportunities- including one conversation during the legislative session.
What he didn’t mention, however, is that he met at least twice with Kulongoski’s chief of staff, Chip Terhune, to discuss his future job prospects.
“Rep. Galizio met with Chip last summer,” said Kulongoski spokeswoman Anna Richter Taylor. “He indicated interest in new employment opportunities.”
The two met again during the legislative session, although it was well before the Metolius vote, Taylor said.
During Floor debate on HB 3298, Rep. Galizio said he changed his vote on the Metlious bill thanks in part to a conversation he had with Kulongoski. The Governor’s press office said the call “had nothing to do” with Rep. Galizio’s job search and there was “quid pro quo” for the reversal.
Did Rep. Galizio’s Metolius vote help him get a state job? Discuss.