6/26/2010: Les Zaitz has a long story in the Oregonian today about AG John Kroger. Very mixed reviews, mostly involving his political ambitions. This part struck home:
… he also has refused to release the record of his agency’s examination of Mike Bellotti’s unwritten employment deal as the University of Oregon’s athletic director. When he resigned in March, Bellotti said he was owed millions under a verbal deal. He settled for $2.3 million, but news of the odd arrangement sparked public outcry.
Kroger put his agency to work on the case, and the Justice Department report issued last month said the review was meant to assess legal services provided to UO and “to determine whether there was any evidence of criminal conduct or other illegal behavior warranting criminal investigation.”
State lawyers racked up $44,000 in costs doing the review. “It required a significant amount of legal research. Contract issues are complicated,” said Tony Green, Kroger’s spokesman.
But Justice staff interviewed just one person: Melinda Grier, UO’s general counsel who also reported to the Justice Department. The review concluded Grier erred in not getting Bellotti’s employment deal on paper. She lost her job.
But no one questioned Pat Kilkenny, UO athletic director when the Bellotti deal was struck, or Dave Frohnmayer, former attorney general and past UO president.
That triggered the resignation of a third top Kroger aide. Jerry Lidz, who as solicitor general managed the state’s appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, resigned over the treatment of Grier, his wife.
Dave Leith and Keith Dubanevich, the DOJ attorneys who ran the investigation, didn’t even interview Frohnmayer, Kilkenny, or Bellotti. How can you investigate a verbal agreement, conclude UO did no wrong in paying $3 million to Bellotti, and not even interview the people who made the deal? It’s just not believable. As in I do not believe it. These people are not that incompetent.
The Portland police will give the Oregonian an mp3 of the recording of the masseuse’s allegations that Al Gore assaulted her. But try and find out what the Oregon DOJ investigators discovered about Dave Frohnmayer’s role in the $3 million Bellotti payoff? What about the $240,000 Kilkenny donated to Frohnmayer’s Fanconi foundation, the year before Frohnmayer appointed him AD? Did boosters give the money for Dave’s raises and bonuses too? The Oregon DOJ will reject your public records requests and tell you that’s none of your business. Move it along, punk.
Dave Frohnmayer is simply untouchable – at least as far as the Oregon DOJ, which he headed for 8 years, is concerned. I’m beginning to see why Jerry Lidz resigned over this investigation.