Kitzhaber whistleblower won’t be prosecuted


The district attorneys in charge of handling the case announce they will not pursue charges against Michael Rodgers.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

The district attorneys in charge of handling the case announced they will not pursue charges against Michael Rodgers, who leaked thousands of former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s emails to Willamette Week.

“Under the totality of the circumstances in this case and after a thorough review of the above factors, the mutual decision of these two district attorneys is that justice would not be served by filing criminal charges against Mr. Rogers,” Marion County District Attorney Walt Beglau and Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry said in a joint statement released Wednesday. “There is no actual ‘whistle-blower’ defense in Oregon criminal statutes. Even so, the conduct of Mr. Rodgers appears precipitated by a perceived rationale that stems from extraordinary circumstances seemingly unparalleled in the Oregon political landscape.”

The decision comes a day after Gov. Kate Brown urged prosecutors to only pursue charges if there was incriminating information the public did not already know.

Beglau and Berry wrote that Rodgers had other options to notify authorities of his concerns, although they did not specify what those were, and they said Rodgers should have been aware the emails were backed up on other computer servers. In the prosecutors’ opinions, Rodgers’ actions constituted a misdemeanor crime of second-degree official misconduct, which is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine for each violation.

“A public servant commits the crime of official misconduct in the second degree if the person knowingly violates any statute relating to the office of the person,” the prosecutors wrote in their statement.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

From Willamette Week:

Rodgers’ response to  that news, according to WW‘s news partner, KATU, was one word: “Great!”

 




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