Linn Government official John Lindsey believed to violated Oregon ethics law

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will investigate whether Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey broke state principles laws by trying to use his position to stop medical pot from being grown in his area south of Lebanon.

A grievance was filed on July 17 by William Templeton of Albany, on behalf of himself and several member of the family connected with the marijuana operation at Butte Creek Estates.

Lindsey stated he welcomes the probe.

” I consulted with members of the Ethics Commission and brought documentation,” Lindsey stated. “We came to an arrangement that they require to examine, and I think this grievance requires to be investigated. I want an examination of the complaint itself.”

Inning accordance with a report by the Federal government Ethics Commission, Mark Owenby and Michelle Page acquired the property in December 2016. The couple started establishing a medical cannabis growing operation, consisting of constructing a large greenhouse.

Templeton charged that in 2017, Lindsey went to the home and provided a service card noting he was a county commissioner. Templeton likewise asserts that Lindsey told the homeowner “you chose the wrong community,” and “what you are doing is illegal.”

Templeton asserted that Lindsey went to several county departments browsing for possible illegalities at the property.

Templeton also said Lindsey made copies of the homeowner’ Oregon Medical Cannabis Program cards and permits .

Because he feared the marijuana operation would lower home values in the area, he also declared that Lindsey’s actions were being made in part.

The Ethics Commission noted that public authorities are prohibited from ” attempting or utilizing to utilize their official positions to acquire a personal financial advantage or avoid a individual monetary detriment, that would not have been offered however for holding the public position.”

The commission report keeps in mind that additional examination will be needed to “determine whether Mr. Lindsey used methods of access to county resources not readily available to the general public, whether the nature of Mr. Lindsey’s position influenced county personnel’s responsiveness, or whether Mr. Lindsey directed county personnel to hang around working on the matter.”

The report also noted that had Lindsey made declarations such as ” exactly what you are doing is prohibited,” or “you selected the incorrect community,” while providing himself in an official capacity, he “may have been trying to utilize the influence of his position to stop the medical cannabis grow in his community in order to prevent a individual financial hinderance.”

Further investigation is likewise needed to identify whether Lindsey may have had a conflict of interest when he initiated a lawsuit naming the home owners and others.

“There appears to be substantial objective basis to think that one or more offenses of Oregon Government Ethics law may have happened as a result of Mr. Lindsey’s actions in relation to the cannabis being grown on Mr. Owenby and Ms. Page’s property in his community. The Oregon Federal Government Ethics Commission ought to relocate to investigate whether John Lindsey may have breached ORS 244.040( 1 ), ORS 244.040( 4) and ORS 244.120(2 (Motion 4),” stated the report authorized by Ronald Bersin, the commission’s executive director. 

 

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