Lindsey said he welcomes the investigation.
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.
“I met with members of the Ethics Commission and brought documentation,” Lindsey said. “We came to an agreement that they need to investigate, and I believe this complaint needs to be investigated as well. I want an investigation of the complaint itself.”
Further investigation is also needed to determine whether Lindsey may have had a conflict of interest when he initiated a lawsuit naming the property owners and others.
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 charged that in 2017, Lindsey visited the property and presented a business card noting he was a county commissioner. Templeton also asserts that Lindsey told the property owners “you picked the wrong neighborhood,” and “what you are doing is illegal.”
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.