By Lars Larson,
NW and national radio host
I think you can be sure we won’t see anyone writing “profiles in political courage” about members of Oregon’s rotgut and pot commission.
I know they volunteer and I know they serve without pay.
Good for them.
But it stops there. Chairman Paul Rosenbaum could have spoken out this week with outrage at the scandalous cheating by top officials at the agency his commission oversees.
Instead, the booze chair railed for 15 minutes at a public meeting…outraged that the public found out about OLCC’s dirty laundry.
To top it off Rosenbaum, partner in a big law firm, literally invoked what lawyers call the “Sgt Shultz” defense: “I know nothing…nuuuthing.”
Not a great idea when the law clearly puts control of every part of “manufacturing, possession, sale, purchase and delivery of liquor”…that’s literally what the statute says…in the hands of Rosenbaum and his buddies on the commission.
He doesn’t like stories about the scandal on his watch turning up not only in Northwest news media, but in the New York times.
I’ll quote lawyer Rosenbaum ““The OLCC is a public body, nothing can be done in private …”
Rosenbaum learned of the wrongdoing from an investigation last September.
Employees were reprimanded privately last month with letters in their file.
New Governor “Tent City Tina” Kotek quietly asked for the resignation of agency head Steve Marks.
All on the downlow…all on the QT.
From their point of view nothing the public had a right to know…about a public agency, overseeing a product sold to the public.
No right for citizens to even know…like so much of what goes wrong in government these days.