By Taxpayers Association of Oregon
We’ve been following the unfolding story about former Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s corruption when it comes to the cannabis industry. But just this week, the Oregon Ethics Commission announced a unanimous vote to open a second investigation into Fagan’s use of tax dollars to pay travel costs for her children and pets.
Fagan still faces an ethics investigation stemming from her acceptance of a $10,000-a-month consulting contract with cannabis company La Mota as her office oversaw an audit of the marijuana industry.
Fagan isn’t the only official who is tangled up with La Mota. In June 2021, a La Mota co-founder gave then-Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle $20,000 in campaign cash. In July, Hoyle was lobbying for the Oregon State Apprenticeship and Training Council to give La Mota’s non-profit (which was less than 2 weeks old) a $554,000 grant after facing pushback from the Council. Hoyle met with La Mota’s founders in March 2021 at a fancy, high-rise restaurant in Portland about the grant.
Oregon ethics laws prohibit those lobbying public officials from gifting them anything over $50. A Hoyle spokesperson said that she believed Hoyle paid for her own dinner that night, but just in case she didn’t, it was under $50. You can look at the dinner menu at Portland City Grill here. Take a look at their cocktail and wine menu, too, because what’s a fancy dinner in Portland without a beverage or two?
All this may help explain why, for eight months, Hoyle has been unwilling to hand over public records held on her personal cell phone.
All of this comes at the same time Hoyle’s Bureau of Labor and Industries was ordered by a Multnomah Circuit Court to pay $1.7 million to a former employee for racial harassment. The irony that Oregon’s agency to fight workplace harassment just lost a $1.7 million for harassment in their own agency.
Congresswoman Val Hoyle is a just-elected first term Member of Congress from Oregon and she is already facing an avalanche of Congresswoman Val Hoyle is a just-elected first term Member of Congress from Oregon problems.
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