Medford, Ore — A Jackson county commissioner is in hot water after a county auditor files a complaint citing possible irregularities in commissioner Doug Breidenthal’s use of public funds.
The concern, writes county auditor Eric Spivak, is that Breidenthal may have broken state ethics laws.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will determine if they will investigate the case for possible fraud, misuse or abuse of public funds, or illegal acts.
For his part, commissioner Breidenthal tells me he’s done nothing wrong.
“It’s just simply not true,” said Breidenthal.
Conflict of interest, misuse of public funds, fraud and much more Jackson County Commissioner Doug Breidenthal is facing serious allegations from Jackson county auditors.
Fellow commissioner Rick Dyer says it is a concern.
“There were some irregularities that were discovered on some travel reimbursement documents that came to the attention of our auditor,” said Dyer.
In a 37 page complaint filed with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, County Auditor Eric Spivak asks the commission to investigate whether Breidenthal was reimbursed for travel expenses by both the County and the Association of Oregon counties, a group that works with Oregon counties.
“That’s the most troubling, we went to great extent to make sure that didn’t happen and I’m sure that as this comes out the Ethics Commission will find that’s not a problem,” said Breidenthal.
Another concern in the complaint, contributions to a campaign account from organizations who’ve stood before Breidenthal and the board on county business including Murphy Company, Combined Transport, and the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe.
“It was done in an open and transparent manner, the association put this account together, so they could pay for things, I didn’t receive the money, all the donation were to the state association,” said Breidenthal.
Also in the complaint, over 10-thousand dollars worth of travel expenses for himself and his wife, who Breidenthal says is employed by his campaign.
“I’m sure they’re going to do their job and I’ll be vindicated when it’s all done,” said Breidenthal.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will take 30 days to gather evidence and investigate in private before an open investigation begins.
Breidenthal says in the meantime he will continue his work as chairman of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners.
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