From State Senator Ted Ferrioli,
Senate Republican Leader,
Dear Senator Devlin,
As Vice-Chair of the Senate Rules Committee, I’d like to add an item to the Rules Committee agenda, particularly as the meeting pertains to ethics, disclosure and reporting policies of members of the Executive Branch. As you know, Mr. Brent Foster, formerly of Attorney General Kroger’s staff, is under intense scrutiny for actions he may or may not have taken in regards to the Bradwood Landing permit process.
FOIA requests pertaining to Mr. Foster’s email communications with persons having an interest in the Bradwood Landing permit application have been filed by members of the press and by interested parties, and some documents have been released. Curiously, additional documents have been withheld by the Attorney General (in a “Nixonesque” action analagous to a claim of “executive priviledge”), by designating the requested documents as off-limits due to “attorney-client priviledge.”
We are curious about who may be the attorney and who may be the client in this case. In other words, was Mr. Foster acting within the scope of his employment or was he not? What precisely, were the actions he took and who directed those actions?
We strongly believe there is an overriding public interest in full disclosure of the facts of Mr. Foster’s actions, whether alone or in concert with others, that may have affected the treatment of the Bradwood Landing permit processing.
We know that you will want to join us in getting full disclosure and request that the issue of FOIA release of Mr. Fosters emails be added to the Rules Committee Agenda.
In fact, if Mr. Kroger or others in the Administration persist in blocking full disclosure of these communications, utilizing our legislative branch powers of subpoena will be in order, which, as Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Rules Committee, we each, individually have the lawful authority to invoke.
I am confident you agree that Oregonians and those we hope to attract to do business in our fair state have the expectation of unbiased and equitable treatment of their permit applications, free of the political machinations of bureaucrats and the pettiness of elected officials.
All indications are that Mr. Foster was a man on a mission. The question that deserves to be answered is this: “What was the mission and who assigned it to Mr. Foster?”
Senator Devlin, will you join me in fearless pursuit of these answers?
Senator Ted Ferrioli
Senate Republican Leader
Vice Chairman – Rules Committee