Ore. AG agrees to investigate embattled Portland mayor's relationship with a minor

Chris Rizo Jan. 22, 2009, 12:00pm

John Kroger (D)

Sam Adams (D)

PORTLAND, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has agreed to investigate whether Portland Mayor Sam Adams broke the law when he had a relationship with a minor.

Earlier this week, Adams, who is openly gay, admitted to lying when he denied having a sexual relationship with a teenage legislative intern.

Adams, 45, said Beau Breedlove was 17 when they met in 2005, and that the relationship did not turn sexual until the boy turned 18.

"I should have been honest at the time about the true nature of my relationship with Beau Breedlove when questions about my relationship with him first surfaced publicly in October 2007," Adams said in a statement on his Web site, "In fact, Beau encouraged me to be honest about the facts of our relationship. I am deeply sorry that I asked him to lie for me."

Multnomah County District Attorney Michael Schrunk and Portland Chief of Police Rosanne Sizer asked Kroger to investigate the matter to avoid any potential conflicts of interest.

"The investigation will be thorough, fair, and professional," Kroger said in a statement. "Under our system of laws, all persons are presumed innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."

Adams said he did not admit to the relationship out of fear Portland voters would not believe that he and Breedlove did not become intimate until the intern turned 18.

Adams, who became mayor on New Year's Day, has resisted calls by the city's media to resign.

"It is not in the city's interest to have a mayor who cannot vouch for his own character under fire. He should resign," The Oregonian wrote in an editorial this week.

If Adams remains in office his seat will be protected for six months since Oregon law bars mayoral recalls until the official has been in office for at least six months.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo at chrisrizo@legalnewsline.com.

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