Lindsey, Linn County elected official likely violated Oregon Laws

The Oregon State Government Ethics Commission will examine whether Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey breached state ethics laws by trying to take advantage of his position to stop medical marijuana from being grown in his neighborhood south of Lebanon.

A complaint was filed on July 17 by William Templeton of Albany, on behalf of himself and several family members related to the cannabis operation at Butte Creek Estates.

Lindsey said he welcomes the probe.

” I fulfilled with members of the Ethics Commission and brought paperwork,” Lindsey said. “We came to an contract that they need to investigate, and I believe this grievance needs to be examined. I want an examination of the problem itself.”

According to a report by the Government Ethics Commission, Mark Owenby and Michelle Page purchased the residential or commercial property in December 2016. The couple started developing a medical cannabis growing operation, consisting of constructing a large greenhouse.

Templeton charged that in 2017, Lindsey visited the residential or commercial property and presented a organisation card noting he was a county commissioner. Templeton also asserts that Lindsey told the property owners “you picked the incorrect community,” and ” exactly what you are doing is prohibited.”

Templeton asserted that Lindsey went to numerous county departments looking for possible illegalities at the residential or commercial property.

Templeton also said Lindsey made photocopies of the property owners’ Oregon Medical Cannabis Program permits and cards .

Because he feared the cannabis operation would decrease home worths in the location, he likewise declared that Lindsey’s actions were being made in part.

The Ethics Commission kept in mind that public officials are forbidden from ” attempting or utilizing to use their official positions to acquire a individual financial advantage or prevent a personal financial hinderance, that would not have been available but for holding the general public position.”

The commission report notes that additional investigation will be needed to “determine whether Mr. Lindsey used ways of access to county resources not readily available to the general public, whether the nature of Mr. Lindsey’s position influenced county staff’s responsiveness, or whether Mr. Lindsey directed county personnel to hang around dealing with the matter.”

The report also kept in mind that had Lindsey made declarations such as “what you are doing is illegal,” or “you chose the incorrect neighborhood,” while presenting himself in an main capacity, he “may have been attempting to use the impact of his position to stop the medical cannabis grow in his area in order to avoid a personal financial detriment.”

When he initiated a lawsuit naming the home owners and others, further examination is likewise needed to figure out whether Lindsey might have had a dispute of interest.

“There seems considerable unbiased basis to think that a person or more violations of Oregon Federal government Ethics law might have occurred as a result of Mr. Lindsey’s actions in relation to the cannabis being grown on Mr. Owenby and Ms. Page’s residential or commercial property in his community. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission must transfer to examine whether John Lindsey might have violated ORS 244.040( 1 ), ORS 244.040( 4) and ORS 244.120(2 (Motion 4),” stated the report approved by Ronald Bersin, the commission’s executive director.

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