By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
The former head of Oregon’s Liquor and Cannabis Commission, Steve Marks, is stating that Governor Tina Kotek fired him because she was pressed by a one of the state’s largest marijuana businesses, La Mota co-owned by Rosa Cazares. The same business, La Mota, has made headlines for not paying taxes as well as paying the Secretary of State for a moonlight job while she issued an audit of the industry. That scandal forced the Secretary of State to resign.
OPB reports, “Marks’ notice of a possible lawsuit makes the case that he first attracted Cazares’ ire in 2018, when the OLCC cited one of her companies for mishandling nearly 150 pounds of cannabis. He argues that Cazares and Mitchell began making major donations to Democrats as a way to steer state cannabis policy in their favor. Together, the pair has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting political campaigns since 2019.“What Cazares’ largesse purchased was the leverage to have Marks pushed out of office when his work concerning Oregon’s cannabis industry stood in her way,” the notice says. “In short, because Marks supported and carried out regulations that Cazares saw as onerous, she bought his ouster through financial graft…Kotek’s staff informed Marks in late January that the governor was requesting his resignation. That was well after Kotek had alerted some other agency directors they would not be welcome in her administration. ”
It should be noted that the OLCC was recently involved in their own scandal of hoarding private liquors.
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. We will keep you posted.