Wednesday, October 24, 2007

This Happend in Oregon!

A governor, a 14 year old girl, a state trooper and a governor's wife. No, I am not talking about Arkansas. I am talking about Oregon. In today's' Oregonian newspaper there is a investigative story about how a state trooper assigned to protect Governor Neil Goldshmidt may have lied when he said he did not know about Goldshmidt's rape of a 14 year old girl in the 1970's when he was mayor of Portland and also may have lied when he denied that he, the trooper, was having an affair with the Governor's wife. Today that state trooper is the Sheriff of Multnomah county, Oregon's most populous county. The Oregonian's story starts:

In early 1989, a top supervisor with the Oregon State Police summoned a lieutenant named Bernie Giusto to confront him about rumors of a serious ethical breach.

Though the topic was awkward, Reg Madsen, then the second-ranking state police official, said he minced no words with Giusto, the driver and bodyguard for Gov. Neil Goldschmidt.

Are you, he asked, having an affair with the governor's wife? "He just denied everything," Madsen said. "Why, he swore on his mother's grave there was nothing to it."

Nearly two decades after the exchange, the credibility of Giusto's denial is under fire. Four former Goldschmidt staffers, a Giusto confidante and former Gov. Barbara Roberts told The Oregonian they learned that Giusto was indeed having an affair with the governor's wife.

By their accounts, Giusto saved his career with a lie: Senior Oregon State Police officials say they would have fired Giusto had he confessed. Instead, the ambitious lieutenant went on to become chief of police in Gresham and sheriff of the state's most populous county.

Now Giusto's honesty is squarely in the public eye.

Investigators from the state's police disciplinary board, focusing on three cases when his personal life tangled with his public job, said this month they have evidence that Multnomah County's top cop may have lied to the public. Giusto has said he's confident he will be cleared by the board, which will decide if he is fit to carry a badge.

Law enforcement officials must meet a strict standard for honesty, swearing to codes that demand honor and integrity both on duty and off. Lying, even in the rough and tumble world of politics, is viewed as a serious breach.

Over five months, The Oregonian conducted more than 100 interviews with friends, associates and critics and reviewed thousands of pages of public records to examine Giusto's career, from his days as Goldschmidt's driver, to his appointment as Gresham police chief and his tumultuous reign as county sheriff.

( To read the rest click on the title above for a link to the Oregonian's investigative story)

Now if all of this "is stranger than fiction" consider this fact:

Radio talk show host Lars Larson has filed a formal complaint against current Oregon Governor, Ted Kulongoski, with the Oregon State Bar.

Larson believes that the Governor violated ethic standards by appointing former Governor Neil Goldschmidt to the Board of Higher Education. Larson alleges that Kulongoski knew that Goldschmidt had a sexual relationship with a 14-year old girl who was a family babysitter.

The word about Kulongoski's being "in the know" comes from one of Governor Goldschmidt’s prior speech writers, who says he revealed the relationship to Kulongoski before the appointment was made.

Larson says that if the complaint is confirmed by the bar, Kulongoski could lose his right to practice law.