Multnomah County Court judge sides with political consultants in Cover Oregon case.
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Multnomah County Court Judge Henry Kantor sided with political consultants in a case brought on by the now-defunct Cover Oregon health exchange.
Oracle, the plaintiff in the suit, claimed the consultants unduly swayed the decision to scrap the site for political reasons instead of problems with the actual product.
At the center of the case was Patricia McCaig, whom Oracle claimed had too much influence in Cover Oregon despite not being employed by the state or Kitzhaber’s campaign staff.
“I have completed my review of all of the materials submitted, along with your oral arguments,” Kantor wrote. “I have concluded that the defendants’ special motion to strike should be and is granted in its entirety. A more detailed opinion explaining the grounds for my decision will follow as soon as possible but it could be a few weeks.”
Steve Berman, a lawyer representing [Kevin] Looper and [Mark] Wiener, issued the following statement on behalf of all five of the defendants: “We are obviously pleased that Judge Kantor has dismissed Oracle’s suit, which we have always believed to be misguided and baseless,” Berman said.
(SOURCE: Willamette Week)
The decision to dismiss this case does not affect the ongoing litigation in state and federal courts between Oregon and Oracle over who should take responsibility for Cover Oregon.
“We fully intend to pursue all avenues to vindicate Oracle’s rights against a group of political operatives who targeted Oracle to help reelect the former Governor,” said the statement attributed to [Oracle’s] attorney, Jamie Gorelick, a former top U.S. Department of Justice official.
Most of the documents that Oracle used to make its case had been leaked to Willamette Week. They showed that among other things, McCaig laid out a plan to “manage” the public proceedings around the Cover Oregon board decision to shut down the Oracle work. The board opted to instead use the federal exchange to enroll Oregonians in health insurance. Oracle also cited reporting by The Oregonian/OregonLive that the decision to shut down the exchange appeared to be a done deal before any public vote, as well as that the former exchange director secretly recommended Kitzhaber get “politics” out of Cover Oregon decision-making.
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