Ted Sickinger has had a series of stories in the Oregonian on the BETC program:
Tax credits became big business in Oregon after the legislature and then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski supersized the state’s long running energy program to provide developers with up to $10 million per project. The state ultimately issued nearly $1 billion in tax credits, and most recipients sold them to raise upfront cash. The state allowed such sales, and it was Colello’s job at the Energy Department to match buyers and sellers, as well as process sales completed by brokers.
… A former official with the Oregon Department of Energy has pleaded guilty to accepting $291,017 in kickbacks in connection with the sale of state energy tax credits, prosecutors said.
Joe Colello, who previously managed tax credit sales for the department, had told The Oregonian/OregonLive that he was under investigation for expediting the sale of tax credits for a private energy consultant and expected to be charged. He pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in Marion County Circuit Court to racketeering, receiving bribes, aggravated theft, tax evasion and official misconduct charges.
“I’m dirty,” Colello told The Oregonian/OregonLive in an emotional interview Sunday afternoon. “I made mistakes.”
According to court documents, Colello accepted cashier’s checks on 52 separate occasions from a Seattle-based energy consultant, Martin Shain, who is already under indictment on forgery accusations.