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Portland Police Ask Oregon AG to Investigate Mayor Sam Adams

Following newly-elected Portland Mayor Sam Adams' confession that he lied about his relationship with a legislative intern he was mentoring in 2005, Portland law enforcement officials have asked the state to investigate Adams.

SamadamsVia the AP:

"Local authorities have asked Oregon’s attorney general to investigate Portland Mayor Sam Adams, who has admitted lying about a sexual liaison with a teenager. The request came from Portland Police Chief Rosie Sizer and Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk. Attorney General John Kroger and aides did not immediately respond to a call for comment about the scope of the investigation."

The Oregonian reports that "The Internet is ablaze with calls for Adams to step down. City Commissioner Randy Leonard said he was "disturbed" that Adams had persuaded Breedlove to lie, and Commissioner Nick Fish said he was disappointed. The Oregonian editorial board called for Adams to resign in today's newspaper."

More: "On Tuesday, county authorities said they would conduct a criminal investigation looking into the possibility that Adams had sex with a minor and whether Adams' lie about his sexual relationship with Breedlove while serving as a city commissioner rose to the level of official misconduct. However, Sizer said such an inquiry poses a conflict for Portland police because the mayor controls the bureau's budget. The mayor also holds the authority to appoint and fire the police chief. 'If there is an investigation, I don't think that it's appropriate that the Police Bureau does it,' Sizer said. 'There are capable investigative entities outside the Police Bureau.' Among the crimes that the investigation could encompass are felony second-degree sexual abuse and the misdemeanors of third-degree sexual abuse, contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor and sexual misconduct. Even if the sexual contact is consensual, Oregon law says a person younger than 18 doesn't have the capacity to consent, and as a result, the contact is a crime."

I've posted portions of Adams' news conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

Portland Oregon's Gay Mayor Sam Adams Admits Sexual Relationship With Teenage Former Staffer In 2005 [tr]
Portland TV On Adams Controversy [tr]
Portland Swears in Gay Mayor Sam Adams [tr]
Portland Elects Openly Gay Mayor Sam Adams [tr]
Gay Man Accused of Smearing Another in Portland Mayoral Race [tr]

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  1. A conspicuous start to his run, to say the least. This isn't going to be pretty. As was said in the previous thread, this isn't about the sex. It's about the lying.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 21, 2009 4:04:42 PM

  2. Thanks Sam.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 21, 2009 4:05:25 PM

  3. Who are these people who think to themselves, "Hey, I'm going to go ahead and run for public office because if I win, that thing with the teenager is *never* going to come out!"

    Posted by: David D. | Jan 21, 2009 4:10:17 PM

  4. I thought the guy was over 18 when it happened? I don't get it. Why is this an issue? There are much worse problems out there.

    If he hadn't persuaded the guy to lie than he wouldn't have had a chance.


    Posted by: Andy | Jan 21, 2009 4:11:19 PM

  5. Sam, dear, you could have just left it at tacky; but instead, you moved on to actionable. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Use the brain in your head, the one behind those pretty blue eyes, not the one in your dick.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 21, 2009 4:15:21 PM

  6. Before they do this, don't they need to ask Breedlove if he was 18 when he had sex with Sam. Without his help, the police can't charge him with the crime.

    Posted by: John | Jan 21, 2009 4:22:06 PM

  7. Schrunk and Sizer? These jokes can write them selves. lol

    Posted by: richard s | Jan 21, 2009 4:33:16 PM

  8. Just as an editorial issue, it would be helpful if you mentioned the gender of the staffer in question. If this were Drudge, I would assume this was heterosexual indiscretion unless otherwise specified, that it's mentioned here leaves it open and it would be helpful if it were made more clear.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 21, 2009 4:35:25 PM

  9. Of course the Oregonian wants him to resign. Once again they got scooped by the Willamette Week.

    Posted by: Bud | Jan 21, 2009 4:36:59 PM

  10. Sam Adams is a disgrace to the LBGT community. With his lies including taking full-page newspaper denials and asking a teenager to confer with his dishonesty, I feel that he has lost all his credibility. I would rather see a straight honest mayor than support a gay dishonest one simply because we share the same sexual orientation.

    Posted by: tribalpottery | Jan 21, 2009 4:37:20 PM

  11. The timing of this whole thing just seems odd. Why the mea culpa a couple of weeks after taking office? Why not before? I think I've been raised on too much bad TV, but my instinct tells me that the younger fella was putting the screws on. I mean the two of them got through the election without blabbing, What changed? There's definately something more there.

    Posted by: Todd | Jan 21, 2009 4:48:41 PM

  12. Reporters should ask him about his relationship with Greg Eddie. Eddie was his domestic partner from 1992 to 2004. Adams was notoriously unfaithful to him while he was in other local post. Eddie successfully sued for a portion of his Adams' pension and alimony.

    What about Christopher Stowell who is the Oregon ballet director who he was dating at the time he was romancing Beau Breedlove? Stowell was wise enough not to be in a relationship with Sam Adams.

    His current boyfriend Peter Zuckerman is an award winning journalist. Within the small gay community of Portland it is quite well-known that Adams has been less than faithful to him as well.

    Posted by: tribalpottery | Jan 21, 2009 4:53:39 PM

  13. Agreed, Tribalpottery. I'm not deluding myself into think any politician will ever truly be hands-clean, but the cover-up is just too much. It's a matter of broken trust. You know, once someone lies to you, you always wonder what else they're hiding.

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 21, 2009 5:00:24 PM

  14. Why isn't his party affiliation being mentioned? Is he another scum-bag Republican hypocrite who condemns lying and abuse of power, then commits the same act? This, for me, is a horror story come true. I suspect that my teenage son is gay, and I am willing to support his choice, but I don't want anyone in a position of authority over him, using their position to seduce him.

    Posted by: Marc | Jan 21, 2009 5:01:09 PM

  15. He lied. And he got someone else to lie to cover up his lie. He should resign now. End of story.

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 21, 2009 5:06:40 PM

  16. The police should investigate if there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed. If he committed a crime or a code of ethics violation, he should step down. If he didn't, he should stand his ground.

    So far, all we know is that he lied to a reporter about a consensual relationship with an adult -- which is not a legitimate question for a reporter to be asking in the first place. We can debate whether he should have said "none of your business" instead of lying, but the fact is that the persistent prejudice that views gay men as predators might very well have convicted him in the court of public opinion if he had done that. A 40 year old straight politician could have said "none of your business" if asked about dating an 18 year old and it would not even cause a blip, but if a gay one said that, it very likely would be all over for him.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 21, 2009 5:08:41 PM

  17. Leave it to irresponsible, high-profile gay men to continually tarnish how the country/world views us. Someone of this ilk, who willfully pursues politic office and therefore willingly courts public scrutiny should at least have the presence of mind to limit his sexual conquests to men his own age. Everyone is parsing this -- "oh but he was 18 at the time" You know what? It doesn't matter. A teenager is still a teenager and this guy had no business being in that kind of compromising postion with him.

    Posted by: Troy | Jan 21, 2009 5:09:45 PM

  18. Steve and Marc, the reason some background wasn't provided is because Towleroad has already run extensive coverage of the story. He an openly gay mayor, and yes the (then) minor is male. There are many links to previous stories above.

    I don't condone Adams's actions or lying or cheating or anything else, but I'm driven crazy by the notion that no sex can be consensual unless the participants are 18. I went to college at 16 and had plenty of sex, and before that messed around with a guy in high school. My straight friends did the same thing, and they were often stupid when it came to safe sex. I knew all about it and never had any problems. Kids who receive (or seek out) proper sex ed are not necessarily going to be at any risk, physically or emotionally.

    I know women who messed around with their male peers at much younger ages (say, 11), and while I wouldn't endorse that, it doesn't seem to have caused them permanent damage of any sort. As an 18 year old I wouldn't have wanted to bed a 42 year old, but the younger guy here seems to have a history of dating men quite a bit older. He's 21, and his most recent boyfriend is 39. Again, I'm not defending Adams. But the younger guy played a role too, and wasn't necessarily the victim in their sexual relationship. He was a victim in being told to lie, but he got a few favors out of it (like getting Adams to cut the ribbon at the opening of his employer, borrowing his car, etc.). Something suggests that he knows how to play his cards.

    Posted by: Paul R | Jan 21, 2009 5:21:37 PM

  19. Good lord, 18? I lived and studied abroad at 15 and 16.

    In most states the age is 16 and in much of Europe it's 14. I guess Oregonians are just slow to develop or extra-childish?

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jan 21, 2009 5:32:19 PM

  20. This is a big deal because the teen was an intern or former intern. It may not have broken any specific rules or laws, but it was certainly wrong.

    The reason we use 18 as the standard for the age of consent when having sex with someone over the age of 18 is that we have to draw the line somewhere to find balance between freedom and protecting youngsters who have little power. 18 may not always be the right age, but it works pretty well most of the time.

    It is my understanding (from news reports) that Adams had sex with the kid when he was 18, so statutory rape did NOT occur.

    I think Adams has let his looks, charisma, and power go to his head. This happens all the time with people gay and straight, but you know, I just wish it wouldn't happen with the first out gay mayor of a semi-major US city. Pisses me off royally.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 21, 2009 5:36:21 PM

  21. This is so stupid, because no matter what, the kid was over the age of consent and, unless the kid speaks up, whatever happened did so after the kid turned 18. There's no evidence to investigate anything.

    What we have here is a witch hunt. Can't bush the queer during the campaign 'cuz then you're a bigot. But add actual sex to it? Now you can dig deep.

    Prediction if the AG does take it on: they find nothing about his relationship with the kid, but keep finding fake 'charges' a la Clinton that will eventually take the guy down. Meanwhile, he gets nothing done. The likely-homophobic police are probably ecstatic to push this...

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 21, 2009 5:46:20 PM

  22. david, statutory rape is for people below the age of 16 in most states, not 18.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 21, 2009 5:49:02 PM

  23. It's a shame that this is happening in the gay community. It gives our enemies great fodder to use againt us. One step forward and two steps backward.

    Posted by: bill | Jan 21, 2009 5:51:24 PM

  24. if this is only about LYING then David Vitter, Larry Craig and all the others that couldn't keep it in their pants need to step down or be prosecuted. they lied too. they lied to their spouses, their constituents and their public commitments. they also broke the law. last time i looked, using a prostitute was a crime, and don't even let me start on Craig...

    i'm not saying what Smith did was right, but i am saying what's good for the goose is good for the ganders. just because Smith likes the ganders doesn't make it worse.

    Posted by: mike/ | Jan 21, 2009 5:53:37 PM

  25. @ RYAN: thanks for the correction. It looks like you're right on that.

    The ethical case remains, however, that Adams was either in a position of authority or had just ended such, so in my book, it was a stupid thing to do. St00pider yet to lie about it.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 21, 2009 6:07:41 PM

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