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.”

“There appears to be substantial objective basis to believe that one or more violations of Oregon Government Ethics law may have occurred as a result of Mr. Lindsey’s actions in relation to the marijuana being grown on Mr. Owenby and Ms. Page’s property in his neighborhood. The Oregon Government Ethics Commission should move to investigate whether John Lindsey may have violated ORS 244.040(1), ORS 244.040(4) and ORS 244.120(2 (Motion 4),” said the report approved by Ronald Bersin, the commission's executive director.

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.”

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.

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


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 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.”
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