Frohnmayer’s latest ethics problem

6/15/2012 update: I’m no legal ethics professor, but this doesn’t look good for Frohnmayer:

The full letter is here. The Bar’s disciplinary counsel has given Frohnmayer and Gary until 6/21 to respond. The Bend Bulletin reports that the county has spent about $100,000 on the matter so far, presumably much of it to Frohnmayer and Gary’s firm. Meanwhile Flaherty has filed a bar complaint against Pilliod.

5/21/2012: The latest Oregon Bar complaint docs are here. Keeping up with Frohnmayer’s ethics issues is a full-time job, I’ve only glanced at these, I think the meat is in the last few pages.

4/21/2012: I’m pretty sure this will only interest my law school readers, at best, but I thought I’d post this Oregon State Bar ethics complaint, filed in March by Valerie Wright against Frohnmayer, Bill Gary, and Deschutes County Counsel Mark Pilliod for the record. It’s a twisted story. The Bend Bulletin has a helpful timeline.

Wright is a lawyer and the wife of Deschutes County DA Patrick Flaherty. From what I can tell Deschutes county hired our former Pres at $550 an hour last year to help Pilliod and the county commissioners with a Bar ethics complaint they were supporting against Flaherty, who had opened a grand jury investigation against Pilliod involving a relatively trivial sounding violation of public records law – or maybe I’m jaded. Or maybe this all goes back to Flaherty defeating the commissioner’s favorite longtime DA in an election.

Wright alleges that in the course of pursuing the ethics complaint against her husband Frohnmayer and Gary and Pilliod made some false statements to the bar, so she’s filing this ethics complaint against them:

Frohnmayer seems to have become a specialist in making ethics complaints against his fellow lawyers – he’s got another one going against Oregon AAG Sean Riddell, apparently payback for Riddell looking too closely at the consulting deals of Kitzhaber’s girlfriend Cylvia Hayes.

And now, after billing the county $550 an hour for pursuing an apparently politically inspired bar complaint against Flaherty, Frohnmayer gets a bit bitchy when OPB asked about the complaint against him:

Frohnmayer calls the complaint “a political use of the bar process.”

I’m sure Dave’s shocked. (Thanks to a reader for the link.)

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28 Responses to Frohnmayer’s latest ethics problem

  1. Anonymous says:

    No one would ever accuse Dave of excessive introspection.

  2. Anonymous says:

    “Frohnmayer’s latest ethics complaint.” Mr. UOMatters, I’m confused. I was under the impression that EVERY SINGLE ethics complaint you’ve ever filed against Dave Frohnmayer (at least four, I think) was summarily dismissed for lack of merit. Perhaps you can point me to a single ethics complaint, filed by you or anyone else, which led to Dave Frohnmayer being found in violation of an ethics rule? Thank you very much in advance.

  3. uomatters says:

    Four? Well to tell the truth, I’ve sort of lost count myself. But I don’t think any were “summarily dismissed”.

    And be honest: Don’t you think Frohnmayer might have a few more friends on state and bar ethics boards than a mere blogger like me?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, interesting theory. It could be that Dave has friends. Or, it could be that the state and bar ethics boards consist of intelligent, rational people who are not completely paranoid nutjobs… like a mere blogger like you.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure all Oregon boards are just as intelligent and rational as the OUS board.

  5. uomatters says:

    Oregon Audits Division report on Frohnmayer

    From Gary Blackmer of the state Audits Division – also a paranoid nutjob?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s not an ethics complaint, it’s a notice that a contract between Frohnmayer and OUS was deficient under state law. Further, the violation was harmless because it was cured.

      Please just stop.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love this argument: “the violation was harmless because it was cured.”

    So if I violate state law but I get caught and pay back the money, that negates the ethical lapse?

    Wow, that is a different take on ethics. I like it – if you don’t get caught, it’s unethical but so what no one knows. If you get caught, just say “oops” and it’s not unethical.

    Can’t lose.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Seriously, just stop. You don’t know anything about law. There’s no such thing as “backdated” contracts; you’re just confusing that with backdated stock options. You can make the effective date of a contract whatever you want; it doesn’t have to be when you sign the contract itself. The only reason Blackmer even mentioned this in his letter is because you had brought it up and he wanted to appease you/make it seem like he was taking you seriously. But this is not even close to a legal issue/controversy. Please stop embarrassing yourself.

  8. Anonymous says:

    So rather than respond to my claim that you lied about about Frohnmayer paying back the money because of your complaint, you delete that part of the thread. I will take that as an admission that you are a liar. Liar, liar, pants on fire.

    You’re the only one with the ethics problem, UOMatters guy.

  9. Anonymous says:

    For the record, I DO give you credit for approving my other posts (note that you don’t need to approve this one).

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, interesting thread. It seems that ‘trying to be a pirate and a half’ isn’t always the best fall-back position.

    • Anonymous says:

      OK, I read the state auditors report. This was an unusual deal put together in violation of the regular rules in some ways, and in other ways right on the edge.

      These arrangements are not unusual, but they are usually kept pretty quiet. There have been a few recent cases from North Carolina and Maryland where the arrangements were exposed in the press and the administrators had to pay back money – hundreds of thousands in the UNC case.

      The UC system was handing out similar deals 10 years ago or so. The newspapers found out, the legislature investigated, big scandal.

    • Anonymous says:

      While he was on a sabbatical, paid with state funds, he was restarting his legal career at Harrang, Long, Gary and Rudnick. I guess that’s legal too?

    • Anonymous says:

      First, you’re obviously UOMatters guy, not another reader. Second, I don’t know what you’re actually insinuating, nor do I care; either you’re wrong about the facts, or you’re wrong about the law. You’re 0/3 so far in this thread (no ethics problem with the “Return to Work” clause; no ethics problem with the overpayment from the state; no ethics problem with the “backdated” contracts). You have zero credibility. So I’m going to safely assume you’re 0/4 and not waste my time investigating why you’re also wrong about the Harrang stuff.

      Given that I’ve refuted everything you’ve said with the exception of this last issue, I trust that you now understand the error of your ways and will not repost any of the drivel in this thread ever again?

  11. Anonymous (or am I ?!) says:

    I think ‘UOMatters guy’ is actually also the angry commenter, generously providing us with some wacky free entertainment. Thanks!

  12. Old Man says:

    The problem for Dave’s defenders is the historically erratic behavior of their champion when it comes to matters of law, as illustrated by his difficulties in dealing with the role of the Faculty in University governance.
    1. In 1995, Dave (and/or his General Counsel?) promoted the creation of a UO Senate to execute the governance role previously played by the Assembly. His argument was that the Oregon Public Meetings Law limited the Assembly to action only when at least half of its members were present, an alleged quorum requirement that was rarely met (This Law, passed in Salem in 1974, had not previously been understood to govern meetings dealing with internal UO governance.)
    2. In response to this demand, the Faculty created the “Senate Charter”, which was endorsed by the Faculty in an Assembly attended by fewer than half of its members.
    3. Despite the apparent illegality of a Charter created by such an allegedly illegal action, Dave ratified the Charter. Either Dave ratified a document that he knew to be illegal OR he knew that the Public Meetings Law did not apply to UO internal governance. Either interpretation looks bad for Dave.
    4. During the next few years, Dave presided over Assembly meetings. During that periiod the Assembly took at least one official action in the obvious absence of a quorum. Makes one think that Dave either understood that no quorum was required OR that he didn’t give a hoot about the Law.
    5. Dave unilaterally stopped the periodic Assembly meetings required by the Constitution that he had ratified.
    6. When the 500 members of the Assembly convened in 2003 to consider a motion addressed to them by 550 petitioners, Dave refused to recognize the meeting on the grounds that it lacked a quorum, despite the fact that it was probably the best attended Assembly meeting in the University’s history.
    (In 2008, the Attorney General ruled that the Public Meetings Law did not apply to internal governance of the University.)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Any news regarding their reply?

  14. Anonymous says:

    “Angry commenter” here. I don’t know anything about any of this stuff. But even if it’s true, I don’t see how it’s that bad; even if it’s that bad, I don’t see how it detracts from Frohnmayer’s accomplishments.

    Let’s be clear: I’m not against criticism. I’m just against false criticism/lies. And everything I’ve ever read about Frohnmayer on this site has been a lie. In addition to the three things I pointed out in this thread, I also destroyed UOMatters Guy on the Fanconi Anemia/Pat Kilkenny stuff, which was both incorrect and deeply offensive (thankfully, I haven’t seen that discussion pop up again). The “Golden Parachute” stuff that just got re-posted is also BS but I don’t feel like getting into it now.

    What about you, UOMatters guy? Are you ever going to admit that you’re wrong? It’s already obvious.

  15. UO Matters says:

    Kilkenny gave the Fanconi foundation Frohnmayer started $100,000’s in donations. Frohnmayer appointed Kilkenny UO athletic director, giving him control over millions in public funds. He also signed off on some very unusual financial deals with Kilkenny, costing the UO academic side millions. Here’s a link to one story:

  16. Anonymous says:

    Me again. You are legitimately crazy. I’m done with you.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Any developments?