SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced April 18 that Lester Smith, a former board member and race director of the Portland Marathon, will pay $865,000 after allegedly delivering loans from the marathon to himself and his for-profit company Next Events LLC.
Smith purportedly operated the marathon for a number of years without actual board oversight. This allowed him to funnel money to himself and related companies in loans. Alleged conduct of this nature violates Oregonian law.
“Our charities section supervises and regulates more than 21,000 registered charities in Oregon. This means we have an obligation to make sure each one is run with integrity and in accordance with Oregon charities laws,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “I am pleased we were able to work with the new board of the marathon to evaluate the organization’s financial situation and ultimately assist in recovering substantial funds owed to the marathon by Lester Smith.”
In addition to paying the Portland Marathon $865,000, Smith will be banned from acting as a high-ranking officer in a charitable organization.
“The Portland Marathon is a capstone event in Oregon, and I am hopeful that this settlement will enable more successful events in the future,” Rosenblum said.