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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. Umm... it might not be statutory rape, but it still counts as sexual abuse, third degree. A felony.

    Not something you want on your mayor's CV.

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 21, 2009 6:12:19 PM

  2. strange country! A fourteen year old can pull out a gun and kill. He is then tried as an adult and spends his life in jail. An eighteen year old gets laid and we treat him like a child! Someone help me with this.

    Posted by: wyskip | Jan 21, 2009 6:13:41 PM

  3. strange country! A fourteen year old can pull out a gun and kill. He is then tried as an adult and spends his life in jail. An eighteen year old gets laid and we treat him like a child! Someone help me with this.

    Posted by: wyskip | Jan 21, 2009 6:14:54 PM

  4. Unless he's lying now that kid was in fact 18 before their affair. He's lied once to protect his career, why wouldn't he lie twice to protect him from potential jail time? It's often funny how the lines slip a little each time when people start to reveal things.

    And I'm sorry but so called "adult" or not, there is something inherently and profoundly wrong to me to see a 44 y.o. having a sexual relationship with someone (male or female!) who is any where near 18.

    Imagine if your nephew or son brought home a man that age. Do you think you'd really be like "oh, good job, lucky bugger. He's consenting so that's cool." wink wink nudge nudge.


    Posted by: FrozenNorth | Jan 21, 2009 6:17:08 PM

  5. I think this situation shows terrible judgement, and he is reaping his karma.

    Posted by: JoeInSF | Jan 21, 2009 6:32:49 PM

  6. @ David - Stupid? Yes. Unethical? That's debatable. I guess you could say that, but I could also see the 18 y/o genuinely being attracted to Adams. I have friends who prefer guys that are 10+ years older. I agree, that 18 vs. 40 is a huge difference, but an 18 year old is not a kid. Not being that far removed from 18, I know I was a competent enough person to make decisions for myself.

    @ Dan. Don't be absurd. There were no broken laws here if, as has been reported, the kid was 18. Chances are, he was, as they didn't meet until the kid was 2 months from being 18. The state has no business investigating the situation unless the kid says he was under the age of 18. Period. Otherwise, this is a witch hunt, one that's largely fueled by homophobia... and the sad thing is there are all too many people in the glbt community who seem to want to make the purge. Adams shouldn't have lied, but he doesn't need to step down from this nothing-here-move-along neo-Monica Lewinski story.

    Posted by: Ryan | Jan 21, 2009 6:56:52 PM

  7. There's nothing morally wrong with him lying about having a sexual relationship with this kid if there's no moral obligation to divulge the truth about one's sexual things... Even him taking out an ad to deny it is his right if one is not required to tell the truth, when asked, about one's personal life when those things have no impact on anyone but those involved in one's personal life.

    That being said, we who struggle against the stereotypes of the majority have an obligation to those like us to set an example IF that will result in equal treatment. However, those who would be swayed to oppose our rights by this wouldn't be supporting us anyway.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 21, 2009 6:59:48 PM

  8. @Tank Before the election, Sam Adams took full-page ads saying that he had NO relations sexual or otherwise with Beau Breedlove. He said that he was being attacked because he was gay. Adams played the role as a victimized gay man. He IS required to tell the truth then because he was running for mayor and any decent human being would have done so. If he had nothing to hid, he should've been open about the fact WHILE he was running not AFTER he was elected.

    BTW no one ever mentions Bob Ball. Bob Ball, another gay man on the city council, was another contender for the mayoral position.

    Posted by: tribalpottery | Jan 21, 2009 7:16:50 PM

  9. why is it when someone has a lil fuck up in politics theyre asked to resign? someone should just grow some balls and say fuck off..

    Posted by: Dustin | Jan 21, 2009 7:32:37 PM

  10. "As was said in the previous thread, this isn't about the sex. It's about the lying."

    It's always about the sex. Even when it's about the lying, it's still about the sex. People use the lying to bust people who are having sex they disapprove of. People also love to desexualize teenagers and pretend that a teenager couldn't possibly have any interest in an older guy and even be the pursuer instead of the pursued. But it happens.

    Not that that makes Sam Adams innocent of bad judgment, but I'm sure that many of those calling for his resignation aren't merely upset about the lying or the fine line between 17 and 18. They don't like that he's getting it on with a young guy. To my mind, he was amazingly foolish and egotistical (like so many politicians) to think that this wouldn't be revealed and wouldn't be a big deal if it was. The blindness that comes with a little power.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 21, 2009 7:46:39 PM

  11. Andy, the kid was underaged. There are plenty of truly adult men he could have dated/slept with, there's no reason to sleep with people under the official age of consent.

    I hope he is investigated and made an example of.

    Tank, one of your posts scares me. I personally don't believe anyone should lie about having a relationship with someone under the age of consent -- straight, gay or otherwise. Pretending this doesn't matter DOES feed into negative stereotypes about the so-called 'gay agenda'. Punish Adams and we can move forward.

    Posted by: Nikki | Jan 21, 2009 7:51:24 PM

  12. Ryan, wake up. There wouldn't be so much smoke here if this kid was solidly 18 and they knew there wasn't any blurry line to deal with. This is probably why the state authorities are getting involved... there is some evidence that Beau and Sam had conversations of a sexual nature prior to his turning 18. Which, if you wanted to be a total dick about it, could be considered pandering/felonious sexual abuse.

    Besides, they're both liars. Mr. Adams, especially. Why on earth should we take his word it was legal at this point?

    Let the police conduct their investigation. If everything was on the up and up, great. Otherwise - the nation's first openly gay mayor of large city is going to jail.

    Posted by: Dan | Jan 21, 2009 7:52:58 PM

  13. In other words, TribalPoetry, he used the 'gay card' in the same way blacks are accused of using the 'race card' -- except Sam Adams really did use the 'gay card' to lie to his constituents and try to hide from his own bad decision-making?

    Ugh. Portland can do much better than Adams. As for Bob Ball, I guess we haven't heard of him because he keeps his head low and just tries to do his job? I hope. Well, should the community support Ball to take Adams place?

    Posted by: Nikki | Jan 21, 2009 7:56:34 PM

  14. Isn't there a rule in politics that states that you should never get caught in bed with a dead woman or a live boy?

    Posted by: Brayden W. | Jan 21, 2009 7:58:52 PM

  15. @Nikki Exactly! He did play the "gay card". His newspaper ads stated that these "suspicions" that he had a sexual relations with a teenager (legal or otherwise) were being aired because he was a gay mayoral candidate.

    Here's an interesting article about Bob Ball, who is gay and involved in Portland's politics. He's SO much better than Adams.

    Posted by: tribalpottery | Jan 21, 2009 8:18:51 PM

  16. Cut the hypocrisy. This was a consenting sex between adults. Start in a mirror for two minutes, then ask yourself what YOU would have said if you were in Sam Adams' shoes.

    I thought we voted the party of hypocritical moral outrage out of office.

    Posted by: Leo | Jan 21, 2009 9:12:42 PM

  17. " Bob Ball, another gay man on the city council, was another contender for the mayoral position. "

    Please folks, get the facts. Ball is not on City Council, he's a downtown condo developer who has never yet had to answer any tough questions of his own.

    Posted by: Leo | Jan 21, 2009 9:15:45 PM

  18. Bob Ball wanted to run for mayor as well. Here's a few links you should be interested in. Note the dates of the articles.

    Posted by: tribalpottery | Jan 21, 2009 9:43:03 PM

  19. He should step down. This is a very uncomfortable time for PDX and he should just let it go. He blew his great chance and embarrased this great city on the national stage during one of the most historic weeks in American history. Thanks Sam the Scam. Scram! We deserve better. It was the blackballing of Ball and the manipulation of the young man to lie that offends me most. I dated older guys at his age too but was fortunately not forced to lie about it. That is spiritual abuse. IT hurt the young man and he confessed and apologized to Ball who is a victim here. He has faced scrutiny as the entire media in Portland painted Ball as an opportunistic liar and ruined any chance of a political future. Sam behaved ruthlessly and I have no pity.

    Posted by: ganymeade | Jan 21, 2009 9:53:14 PM

  20. When I was 17/18, I was almost exclusively attracted to men in their 30s and 40s. I was completely capable of making my own decisions about sex as were my friends, all of whom had had sex before I did. And this was nearly 30 years ago. Were things really that much more progressive then?

    Posted by: David D. | Jan 21, 2009 9:55:33 PM

  21. @ LEO: If I were in Adams's shoes, I would have said, "Gee, you're awfully hot and I'm flattered, but you're too young for me and I was kinda your boss. Oh, and I'm already in a relationship with someone else. Later dude." Just like many ADULTS do all the time. Just not ones who've let it all go to their head.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 21, 2009 10:01:14 PM

  22. I'm upset that Sam decided to go ahead and lie, but what makes me really wonky is... did he hand out a job to Amy Ruiz from the Merc to keep her quiet? How much of this story is yet to unfold? I live in Portland and voted for the guy. I'm still having a hard time trying to understand how to feel about all this...
    Personally, I'd like to see Adams serve out his term. Yes, this is a bad situation. Yes, he lied, and yes, it's kind of yucky that he bedded an 18 year old. They met when the kid was 17, but by that time (2005), Adams had already been Vera Katz's favorite peon: he had to know that breaking the law by sexing up a minor would have killed him. For some reason, I still believe that Sammy boy decided to wait till the kid was 18 to boff him. And for that, well... you know what they say about people who live in glass houses.
    What I am happy to see in this dialogue is that most people believe that a 40+ man dating an 18 year old kid is unacceptable. Tell your friends. I've run into several Beau Breedlove clones in my time (as a peer, I'm young yet), and it would be nice if we could, you know, condemn this kind of crap now? It's time for all the gay men out there to betray your stereotype and behave responsibly.

    Posted by: Colin | Jan 21, 2009 10:04:33 PM

  23. @Tribalpottery

    First, I will assume, solely for the sake of argument, that the relationship was legal.

    Second, he lied about having the relationship.

    Third, during the course of lying about the relationship, he took out full page ads in a paper saying that he was being attacked because of his sexual orientation.

    The third issue is, and should be evaluated separately from whether or not he was ethically required to tell the truth for two reasons.

    1. It is a case of a person using minority status and legitimate cases of minority victimization to cover up a lie and falsely villainize those who are telling the truth by calling them homophobes. This makes it harder for people who are discriminated against because of their minority status to bring attention to this, and minimizes actual cases of discrimination based victimization. It trivializes real discrimination.

    2. IF there is no ethical obligation for anyone to be honest and forthright, when asked, about their sexual orientation, sexual history and sexual relationships so long as no one is being harmed as a result of that lie and no laws were broken, then obviously that entails that there no breach of ethics has occurred if one lies, when asked, about who they slept with. However, that depends on the relationship, too, and the relationship between Adams and his constituency is not the same as between Adams and a partner, and thus one's honesty in matters of, say, infidelity, is not ethically required of one to veritable strangers.

    Given that it is certainly not harming anyone to lie to a relative stranger about sexual conduct and interpersonal affairs in this case, and no one has the right to demand answers about sexual conduct that does not involve them or people they are in a relationship with, I conclude that there is no ethical (and, separately, no legal) obligation to be honest and forthright about one's sexual relationships, i.e., it is okay to lie to a stranger who asks.

    This excuses the lie, but not the way in which he went about perpetuating the lie. So he has a pass for 2., but not 1. To play the "gay card" falsely is to give phrases like playing the gay card credibility. For that, he acted unethically. Unethically enough to be required to resign from office? I don't think so...not given how many politicians play their respective cards very well.

    Lastly is the issue of harm he has done by exemplifying the predatory gay deviant pedophile stereotype. First, to whom is he exemplifying such a stereotype to? It's not allies or potential alllies. Once again, though, if people buy into the spin that the far right will doubtless use for ammunition, they already believed it to begin with, and would have believed something else. That is to say, they'd not be allies anyway. Of course, this is the heat of it. But if one person is willing to believe that gay men are pedophiles based on the presumptively legal relationship between an eighteen year old and an early forty something year old, they're probably not fans of gay folks to begin with...

    Of course, if he broke the law and this constitutes statutory rape...well, that's a separate issue that fortunately for all of us, doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of ever being proven.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 21, 2009 10:55:09 PM

  24. He has a pretty huge gut here. Why did he look thin in earlier photos?

    Posted by: anon | Jan 21, 2009 11:06:09 PM

  25. Why would that Beau suck a Sam Adams when he could be havin' a Ball?

    Posted by: Cindy LuHu | Jan 21, 2009 11:34:14 PM

  26. « | 1 2 3 »

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