Oregon AG clears Portland mayor over relationship

Posted on 25 Jun 2009 at 7:36pm
By Ryan Kost Associated Press

Breedlove’s account of affair with Adams lacked credibility, AG says

SALEM, Ore. — There’s no credible evidence that Portland Mayor Sam Adams broke the law in his 2005 relationship with a teenager, Oregon’s attorney general said Monday, June 22.

Adams, who is openly gay, has admitted that while campaigning for mayor, he lied about his relationship with Beau Breedlove, but he denies they were involved in a sexual relationship before Breedlove was 18.

Breedlove said he was 17 when he and Adams first kissed, but Attorney General John Kroger said in a report that Breedlove’s account of the relationship lacked credibility because of past inconsistent statements and a prior felony conviction, as well as evidence he sought financial gain from the scandal.

"At times, a responsible prosecutor may seek to charge an individual with a crime based solely on the uncorroborated testimony of a single witness," Kroger wrote. "However, a responsible prosecutor will do so only when there are no serious questions about the credibility of the witness’s account."

Two former attorneys for Breedlove said they did not know whether he currently has legal representation.

The sex scandal broke in January after Adams took office. The controversy divided Portland’s gay community — some said he should resign, others that he should stay.

"I made mistakes in my personal life that led to this investigation. As a result, the city I love was put through an ordeal," Adams said in a statement. "I am gratified the investigation has been completed, and I want to reiterate that I am sorry."

Sexual contact with Breedlove before he turned 18 would have been a misdemeanor.

At a news conference Monday, Kroger said his office was not making any judgment about Breedlove’s truthfulness or his "personal credibility." Instead, he said, the report questioned "the credibility of his account" in terms of how it would hold up during a hearing.

Breedlove refused to answer certain questions under questioning by Kroger’s office, including how much money he’s made from publicity surrounding the scandal, according to the report. He also refused to provide certain witnesses, the report said.

The report also noted that Adams was slow in providing investigators access to certain phone memory cards and e-mail accounts.

Adams, 45, currently faces a recall effort on behalf of a group that claims he subverted the democratic process with deceptive campaigning and abused his power. The group claims the recall has nothing to do with Adams’ sexual orientation.

Jasun Wurster, one of the organizers of the recall effort, says it will continue despite Monday’s report.

"It’s about deliberately lying to get elected, orchestrating an elaborate cover up, which included lying to the press, and his abuse of power," Wurster said.

Kroger also looked into whether Adams hired a reporter from the Portland Mercury for a position on his staff in an effort to cover up the relationship with Breedlove, but found no evidence to merit a criminal charge.

The report also considered whether Adams asked for campaign contributions under false pretenses but again found no evidence of a crime.

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