Breidenthal is accused of breaking state ethics laws and misusing public funds, accusations Breidenthal says have no merit.
The commission voted unanimously Friday to investigate the complaint filed by Jackson County Auditor Eric Spivak in November. At issue are possible irregularities in the commissioner’s use of public funds including a campaign account which received contributions from organizations who go before Breidenthal and the board on county business. He’s also accused of being reimbursed for travel expenses by both the county and the Association of Oregon Counties.
Spivak says the decision is validation that referring it was the right thing to do.
“Jackson County does believe in accountability, and transparency, and when an issue like this happens we do bring it forward and not try and hide it,” Spivak says.
In a statement sent to NBC5 News Breidenthal says, “It is unfortunate that the Jackson County Administrator did not take the time to fully research and understand these laws before he directed staff to file the complaint.”
“I am confident that a thorough investigation by the Oregon Ethics Commission will show I have done nothing wrong. ”
The vote to investigate the complaint does not mean that a violation has been found, just that the commission wants to learn more. The OGEC has 180 days to investigate.