Oregon pays former energy dept. director $1M to settle cases
By Andy Giegerich
Digital Managing Editor
Ellen Rosenblum said costs to the state could have soared had Oregon not settled its case with former energy department chief Mark Long.
The state of Oregon will pay a former Energy Department official $1 million to resolve questions over whether a state investigation had violated civil rights.
Mark Long, the former energy department director, had sued the state claiming violations regarding records production and civil rights.
The case dates back to 2011 and has ties to an Energy Assurance Grant awarded to a firm tied to Cylvia Hayes. Hayes is the partner of Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Long and three other former department officials were put on administrative leave by then-Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
“I am pleased to report that the Department of Justice and State of Oregon can put this matter behind us,” said Ellen Rosenblum, the state’s attorney general, in a department release.
The payment comes with no admission of liability.
Rosenblum’s release maintained that the Long cases “would have been significantly more expensive had they continued.” The settlement covers the $560,000 attorney fee judgment won by Long in a case that was on appeal as well as a $7.5 million lawsuit he had filed separately.
“This is a lot of money, but it’s a prudent economic decision for Oregon taxpayers,” said Rosenblum. “There is already a judgment against the state for nearly $600,000. The state also faced a potentially long and expensive trial in the other, related case. It could easily cost upwards of another million dollars just to try the case. So, even if we were to win, Oregonians could lose.”
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