Rep. Knute Buehler
Buehler says Oregon needs stronger whistleblower protections and calls on leadership to join him
Salem, OR – Marion County District Attorney Walt Beglau and Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry announced that they would not pursue charges against Michael Rodgers, the whistleblower responsible for leaking the Kitzhaber emails. Rep. Knute Buehler, who was the first public official to support Rodgers, released the following statement.
“I applaud the decision to suspend investigations against Michael Rodgers. Justice has been served and the public interest has been protected. Rodgers is an Oregon hero – not an Oregon criminal.
Now it is time to get Michael Rodgers back to work where he belongs and for the legislature to turn our focus towards strengthening Oregon whistleblower protection laws. I am working on new legislation that will protect Oregonians, like Rodgers, who are brave enough to stand against corrupt government. I sent a letter today urging Governor Kate Brown to join me, and invite leadership in the legislature to do the same. Like Michael Rodgers, let’s rise above the culture of arrogance and indifference that created the climate for the Kitzhaber-Hayes public corruption scandal in the first place. Let’s take meaningful action to reform Oregon’s whistleblower protection laws. Let’s discuss, debate and pass legislation to ensure future whistleblowers are not punished for doing the right thing.”
Buehler introduced whistleblower protection reforms (HB 3544) earlier this session but the bill was assigned to a closed committee and never received a hearing. This week, Buehler is introducing new legislation based on the federal Sarbanes Oxley law (sections 806 and 307), that will provide state employees in Oregon similar protections that exist for employees of publicly traded companies.