REDMOND, OR -- A local home builder has filed a formal ethics complaint against Redmond City Councilor Anne Graham. Kevin Fitzpatrick, with Alder Creek Homes, submitted his claims last month with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, "One for a conflict of interest that I thought she had with the Community Development Department. The other one was using her office for financial gain."
Fitzpatrick believes Councilor Graham attempted to influence the approval of permits
for homes he is building in her neighborhood. He thinks she was motivated by concerns over possible impacts on her own property’s value. He tells KBND News, "My first problem I had with her in ’15 - that cost me a bunch of money to redo, that I didn’t really have to do. And then when I went in this year, I was treated a whole lot differently. And, I think part of it is her interaction with the Community Development Department and not going through the City Manager, which she was supposed to do." In previous interviews with KBND News, Graham has said she didn’t know she wasn’t supposed to interact directly with city staff.
He decided to take it to the state board after he submitted a public records request for emails between Graham and Community Development Department staff. Fitzpatrick says, "There were some emails that I saw, different departments and different people commenting that ‘Anne Graham was in here.’ And, I think some of the younger planners were intimidated by her calling in or her talking directly with [City Planner] Deborah McMahon; and I think she just crossed the boundary, there."
Mayor George Endicott says he’s aware of the filing, which is still under preliminary review. "They take these complaints; they take them very seriously. They do an investigation and then they make a decision on whether it’s warranted or not. The furthest they go is they can fine people." This is the first ethics complaint filed against a sitting Redmond Councilor in at least the last 10 years, according to the Commission. "I do know other cities are a lot more contentious; they have some filed from time to time. But, in Redmond, I’ve never heard of one before."
Graham says the allegations are “without merit” but refused further comment.