|Lane Shetterly||Attorney General Hardy Myers
|Oregon Law Commission||Government Ethics Work Group
Oregon Law Commission Chair Lane Shetterly and Oregon Law Commissioner Attorney General Hardy Myers today announced the appointment of members and advisors to the Law Commission Government Ethics work group. The work group will be chaired by Myers. Membership of the work group includes expertise from all levels of government and the business community. In addition, the Commission appointed 12 advisors with specific expertise in government ethics to assist the work group. The complete roster of members and advisors is attached.
Following several years of unsuccessful legislation, including a veto of 2003 government ethics legislation, Governor Ted Kulongoski asked the Law Commission to undertake an independent, comprehensive review of state law. During the 2005 session, the Assembly authorized review by the Oregon Law Commission and appropriated funding for the project.
Over the next year, the work group will meet regularly to review Oregon's government ethics law, including providing opportunities for public testimony. The first meeting will be held November 22, 2005 from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. in the Oregon State Capitol. The work group will make recommendations for law improvement to the 2007 Legislative Assembly.
"Lobbying of government officials looks quite different today than it did 30 years ago. Cellular phones, pagers, and frequent flyer miles did not exist when Oregon's laws were written," said Senator Kate Brown, Senate majority leader and vice-chair of the Oregon Law Commission. "A comprehensive review is necessary and long overdue."
Oregon's government ethics laws are very broad, covering all state and local government elected and unelected officials, employees, officers, and volunteers. The laws have not been reviewed comprehensively since their passage by the voters in 1974.
The work group will review ethics laws related to receiving financial gain, which includes gifts, honoraria and subsequent employment; restrictions on and reporting of conflicts of interest; and the structures and processes for administration and enforcement of government ethics laws, including penalties and remedies for ethics violations.
In addition, the work group will give attention to lobbying and campaign finance laws to the extent that standards for lobbying and the use of campaign contributions relate to the ethical conduct of state and local government officials.
"The time is right for a review of state ethics laws," said Myers. "Our work will complement the efforts of the Citizen's Commission on the Legislature, which is looking at broader changes in the legislative process."
The Oregon Law Commission was created in 1997 by the Legislative Assembly as an independent body committed to undertaking substantive law improvement projects. The non-partisan commission recruits hundreds of lawyers, judges, academics and other professionals, who volunteer their time and expertise to assist with law reform. The Commission is housed at Willamette University College of Law through a public-private partnership.
Members appointed to the Government Ethics Work Group include:
1. Attorney General Hardy Myers
2. Hans Linde, Willamette University College of Law Professor, retired justice of the Oregon Supreme Court
3. Greg Mowe, Stoel Rives LLP
4. Representative Vicki Berger, (R-Salem)
5. Senator Betsy Johnson, (D-Scapoose)
6. Lt. Debbie Baker, Salem Police Department
7. Chuck Bennett, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators
8. Steve Bryant, City of Albany (retired)
9. Keith Garza, TriMet
10. John Junkin, Bullivant House Bailey PC
11. Carla Kelley, Port of Portland
12. Margaret Olney, Smith Diamond & Olney
13. Larry Rew, Corey Byler Rew (retired), former Oregon State Bar President
14. MardiLyn Saathoff, Tektronix Corporation
15. John Schoon, former legislator and former Government Standards and Practices Commissioner
1. Bruce Bishop, Harrang Long Gary Rudnick PC
2. John DiLorenzo, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
3. Susan Grabe, Oregon State Bar
4. Jim Green, Oregon School Boards Association
5. Pat Hearn, Government Standards and Practices Commission
6. Genoa Ingram, Western Advocates
7. Jim Markee, lobbyist
8. Harvey Matthews, Associated Oregon Industries
9. Andi Miller, Common Cause
10. Christy Monson, League of Oregon Cities
11. Paul Snider, Association of Oregon Counties
12. Janice Thompson, Follow the Money
Wendy Johnson, Deputy Director, Oregon Law Commission, (503) 370-6983