REDMOND, OR -- After initially stating she would fight the ethics violations charged against her, Redmond City Councilor Anne Graham has reversed course. "As much as it pains me, I’m going to accept the findings of the Oregon Government Ethics Commission," she told fellow Councilors in an emotional speech, Tuesday. "I’m not going to appeal."
She maintains she did nothing wrong when she e-mailed city staff with concerns about building permits issued in her neighborhood. "The primary reason I’m not going to appeal, in spite of attorney opinion that I have a very strong case, is that it will cost me $5,000-10,000 and I don’t have the money." Graham added, "I need to say: I did not use my office for financial gain. It was not my intent; I didn’t intend to intimidate anybody. Their finding is based on a technicality and I’m going to accept it, basically for financial reasons, and just to get it over with."
Following a lengthy investigation, the Ethics Commission found last month
that Graham attempted to influence approval of building permits to protect the value of her own home. She also failed to disclose a potential conflict of interest. Graham says the the Commission’s decision was based on a “nit-picky technicality.”
Redmond City Council voted 6-1, at this week's meeting, to clarify rules regarding how Councilors communicate with city staff and adding a provision allowing for sanctions against Councilors who violate the rules. Graham was the lone “no” vote and called the changes "mean spirited." Mayor George Endicott contends changes in verbiage, which specify Councilors contact the City Manager with questions or concerns about staff, have been in the works for several years.
Also at this week’s meeting, Mayor George Endicott announced plans to run for re-election in 2018.