The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will investigate whether Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey broke state principles laws by trying to employ his position to stop medical marijuana from being grown in his community south of Lebanon.
A grievance was submitted on July 17 by William Templeton of Albany, on behalf of himself and numerous relative related to the cannabis operation at Butte Creek Estates.
Lindsey stated he invites the scrutiny.
” I fulfilled with members of the Ethics Commission and brought documents,” Lindsey said. “We came to an contract that they need to investigate, and I believe this grievance requires to be investigated. I desire an investigation of the problem itself.”
Inning accordance with a report by the Federal government Ethics Commission, Mark Owenby and Michelle Page bought the residential or commercial property in December 2016. The couple started establishing a medical marijuana growing operation, consisting of building a big greenhouse.
Templeton charged that in 2017, Lindsey checked out the property and provided a service card noting he was a county commissioner. Templeton also asserts that Lindsey told the residential or commercial property owners “you selected the wrong area,” and “what you are doing is prohibited.”
Templeton asserted that Lindsey went to numerous county departments looking for possible illegalities at the property.
Templeton also stated Lindsey made photocopies of the residential or commercial property owners’ Oregon Medical Marijuana Program authorizations and cards .
He likewise alleged that Lindsey’s actions were being made in part since he feared the marijuana operation would reduce home values in the area.
The Ethics Commission noted that public authorities are forbidden from ” using or trying to utilize their official positions to acquire a individual monetary benefit or avoid a individual financial hinderance, that would not have actually been offered but for holding the general public position.”
The commission report notes that additional investigation will be needed to ” identify whether Mr. Lindsey used ways of access to county resources not offered to the public, whether the nature of Mr. Lindsey’s position affected county staff’s responsiveness, or whether Mr. Lindsey directed county staff to hang around dealing with the matter.”
The report likewise noted that had Lindsey made statements such as ” exactly what you are doing is unlawful,” or “you picked the wrong area,” while presenting himself in an official capability, he ” might have been attempting to use the influence of his position to stop the medical marijuana grow in his area in order to avoid a personal financial hinderance.”
When he initiated a lawsuit naming the residential or commercial property owners and others, further examination is likewise needed to identify whether Lindsey may have had a dispute of interest.
“There appears to be substantial unbiased basis to think that a person or more infractions of Oregon Government Ethics law might have happened as a result of Mr. Lindsey’s actions in relation to the marijuana being grown on Mr. Owenby and Ms. Page’s residential or commercial property in his community. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission should transfer to examine whether John Lindsey might have breached ORS 244.040( 1 ), ORS 244.040( 4) and ORS 244.120(2 ( Movement 4),” said the report approved by Ronald Bersin, the commission’s executive director.