21 January 2014
Whistle Blower Report Object of Two Legal Challenges
A report on the actions of former Lane County Administrator Liane Richardson is the center of a pair of lawsuits faced by the County Board of Commissioners. The report details information used by the board when they fired Richardson in August. It contains the names of county employees who “blew the whistle” on her actions. A summary was released last fall, but the Register Guard sued to have the full report… with the names blacked out… released. West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich said that would actually pave the way for the release of the un-redacted report.
A resolution on the matter was close until former Commissioner Bill Fleenor joined the legal battle. He filed suit two weeks ago to release the report, something Bozievich says slow things down. It’s important, says Bozievich to keep the report confidential.
Jay Bozievich – “Down the line the issue is chilling future whistle blowers. And we want people to step forward and let us know when somebody’s doing something wrong. And if we don’t keep people’s identities secret when they ask us to, I’m worried we won’t get people to step forward.”
Many of the employees who came forward have said, according to Bozievich, they fear for their physical safety if their identities were to become known.
Four Pounds of Meth
An early morning traffic stop last Wednesday by Reedsport Police uncovered a stash of nearly four pounds of Methamphetamine.
Reedsport officer Ryan Fauver thought the driver of the vehicle may have been under the influence of intoxicants. While speaking to the driver and the passenger, he could see drug paraphernalia in plain view. Neither the driver, 18-year old Sergio Llamas-Fernandez nor the passenger, 33-year old Ashley Dawn Gomez had valid driving privileges. Both list Vancouver, Washington as their home towns.
A search of the vehicle yielded a small ice chest in the back seat with the four pounds of meth.
Both were arrested and charged with unlawful possession, delivery and manufacture of a controlled substance. Llamas-Fernandez was also placed on an immigration detainer.
Sport anglers can hear about the expected quota for Pacific Halibut in the coming year; and weigh in on the probable dates they’ll be able to go after them.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will host the meeting at the South Beach Holiday Inn Express in Newport Wednesday, January 29th at seven pm.
Lynne Mattes, the halibut project leader for ODFW, noted the importance of the halibut fishery and said participants’ input is important to ensuring a good season. Mattes said if you can’t attend in person, an online survey will be posted on the ODFW sport halibut webpage from January 24th through the 31st.
An Artful Affair
For more than 50 years the Florence Rotary Club has been raising money for scholarships by hosting an annual auction.
Last year that auction was enhanced by a second “art-only” auction the week before the traditional event and it was known as “an artful affair”.
It was so successful, organizers are at it again.
Rotary members are seeking donations from local artists for the event that will happen March 1st. They’re hoping to feature the works of dozens of local artists during a champagne reception.
The Artful Affair will precede the traditional auction and dinner that will take place March 8th.