Judge rules governor had power to settle Cover Oregon debacle

Marion County Circuit Judge Sean Armstrong denied the state’s request to throw out Oracle’s $25-million lawsuit.

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Armstrong’s ruling, first reported by the Portland Tribune, knocked out the state’s fundamental contention—that whatever Shipley and Oracle’s Glueck may have said to each other last year, only Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, who filed the original lawsuit against Oracle on the state’s behalf, has the legal authority to settle the litigation.

“[The state] asserts that the Governor lacked the authority to settle the related cases between it and [Oracle],” Armstrong wrote. “The Court cannot conclude the Governor lacked authority.”

(READ MORE: Willamette Week)

The ruling could cause problems for Gov. Kate Brown during election season.

The ruling means that the case will continue as Brown’s election battle heats up. Two Republican candidates, Bud Pierce and Allen Alley, are vying for the chance to oppose her in the general election.

“It’s going to be a battle for who to believe,” said David Friedman, a law professor at Willamette University who has tracked the case. “It’s way too early to tell what’s going to happen. All we know is that we’re going to learn more… and this didn’t go away.”

(READ MORE: Portland Tribune)

How would you grade Gov. Kate Brown? OB asked business leaders and state officials to grade the governor in the feature “Team of Rivals.”

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