Democrat governor Kate Brown is taking even more heat this week for her administration’s alarming lack of transparency. A new report by The Oregonian reveals (link is external)
that Brown attempted to redact and conceal “contradictions in Brown's reasoning for firing the appointees.” Her office attempted to delete key information before responding to a records request by the paper. The information would have remained a secret if another department had not released the same information without Brown’s redactions:
“If it were up to Gov. Kate Brown, you wouldn't know that her former advisor, Richard Whitman, is ‘very intelligent and well-spoken and very well-versed in Oregon environmental and natural resources policy.’"
You wouldn't know that a recruitment firm, which Oregon paid $65,000 to find the department's next leader, ‘strongly recommended’ Whitman. Or that the recruiters thought the other finalist, Leanne Tippett Mosby, should be strongly considered but would need orientation before starting.
Brown's office deleted the opinions offered by the state's recruiters before releasing records about the search process requested by The Oregonian/OregonLive.
The information would've remained a state secret -- except the state Department of Environmental Quality already released the same records to the newsroom without redactions, offering a complete picture of what Brown tried to shield from public view…
Records previously obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive have revealed contradictions in Brown's reasoning for firing the appointees. While the governor has repeatedly said she supports Whitman, she has also said she was unhappy with the almost year-long search that netted him. Emails have shown that Brown tried to prevent Whitman's hiring, threatening to pick the next environmental quality leader herself.
The contradictions have cast a shadow over the new director at a time when he's supposed to be leading major change at the agency in charge of protecting Oregon's air and water.
Brown's redactions are particularly remarkable since they were made by a governor for whom transparency has been a hallmark since she replaced Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2015.”
“Even after coming to office promising increased transparency in the wake of disgraced Democrat Ex-Governor John Kitzhaber’s scandalous resignation, Kate Brown continues her disturbing and duplicitous attempts to shield information that the people of Oregon have a right to," noted Chair Currier. “It is clear that Brown is all talk and no action when it comes to delivering transparency. Our state deserves better."
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