Con. Hoyle refuses to turn over phone (11 months later)

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

U.S. Representative Val Hoyle, D-Ore., has still not turned over her public records that are on her cell phone that are related to her former job as the head of the Oregon Labor Bureau. This is 11 months after the Labor Bureau has asked for them.

The Willamette Week reports, “Indeed, WW’s reporting this spring and summer corroborated that: Records WW obtained show that Hoyle communicated on her personal phone about a $550,000 state grant Hoyle helped shepherd to a nonprofit co-founded by one of her top campaign donors, the embattled cannabis company CEO Rosa Cazares, whose relationship with former Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is now under criminal investigation by the federal government.WW this summer pressed Hoyle on why she hadn’t turned over her personal devices to BOLI for inspection. Hoyle said she had seen neither of the two emails BOLI staff sent her in January asking for those devices. Hoyle promised at the time that she would sift through her devices alongside her attorney and hand over any material that constituted a public record. She declined to hand over the devices themselves, saying that for the sake of thoroughness, she and her attorney would inspect them independently. (That’s despite BOLI claims it has technology that can sort through devices quickly.)”

Just a few months ago an employee within (then) Val Hoyel’s department at Labor Bureau was awarded $1.7 million for racial harassment.  The employee was head of the Labor Dept.’s civil rights division.

We previously reported on Hoyle: “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.”

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