The Oregon Government Ethics Commission will investigate whether Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey violated state ethics laws by attempting to use his position to stop medical marijuana from being grown in his neighborhood south of Lebanon.
Commission staff will investigate the matter and will hold a public meeting on Jan. 25, 2019.
According to a report by the Government Ethics Commission, Mark Owenby and Michelle Page purchased the property in December 2016. The couple began developing a medical marijuana growing operation, including constructing a large greenhouse.

The report also noted that had Lindsey made statements such as “what you are doing is illegal,” or “you picked the wrong neighborhood,” while presenting himself in an official capacity, he "may have been attempting to use the influence of his position to stop the medical marijuana grow in his neighborhood in order to avoid a personal financial detriment.”

Commission staff will investigate the matter and will hold a public meeting on Jan. 25, 2019.



The commission report notes that additional investigation will be necessary to “determine whether Mr. Lindsey used means of access to county resources not available to the public, whether the nature of Mr. Lindsey’s position influenced county staff’s responsiveness, or whether Mr. Lindsey directed county staff to spend time working on the matter.”



Templeton also said Lindsey made photocopies of the property owners’ Oregon Medical Marijuana Program cards and permits.

Templeton asserted that Lindsey went to several county departments searching for possible illegalities at the property.

The Ethics Commission noted that public officials are prohibited from “using or attempting to use their official positions to obtain a personal financial benefit or avoid a personal financial detriment, that would not have been available but for holding the public position.”
The commission report notes that additional investigation will be necessary to “determine whether Mr. Lindsey used means of access to county resources not available to the public, whether the nature of Mr. Lindsey’s position influenced county staff’s responsiveness, or whether Mr. Lindsey directed county staff to spend time working on the matter.”
Lindsey said he welcomes the investigation.
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