The State Bar of Oregon today dismissed an appeal of a complaint filed against Governor Kulongoski by Radio Host Lars Larson that Governor Kulongoski knew about former Oregon Governor Neil Goldschmidt’s sexual abuse of a teenaged girl.
Governor Kulongoski has steadfastly denied any knowledge of the sexual improprieties of the former governor and Transportation Secretary in the Carter Administration for some time. Goldschmidt confessed in 2004 to having had sex repeatedly with his then 14 year old babysitter while he was the Mayor of Portland, Oregon, some 29 years earlier.
Goldschmidt rescued Ted Kulongoski from the political graveyard in 1986 and the two have been very close, raising eyebrows of just how much did Kulongoski know of his mentor’s past and kept quiet.
Fred Leonhardt, speechwriter for former Governor Goldschmidt alleged in a 2004 Oregonian story that he and Kulongoski discussed Goldschmidt’s sexual abuse of the 14 year-old years before Goldschmidt was chosen to run Oregon's university system by Kulongoski.
Five others interviewed by the Oregonian corroborated Leonhardt’s allegations.
In October 2007, radio personality Lars Larson filed a complaint with the Oregon State Bar to investigate whether Governor Kulongoski knew of the abuse and failed to report it to the proper authorities before it came to light.
The Bar rejected the initial complaint saying,
“Kulongoski was credible in his denial that he had not heard about the abuse until just before it was reported in newspapers.”Larson appealed saying,
“that contradicted the bar's conclusion that Leonhardt also was credible when he claimed he told Kulongoski about the abuse years before it was reported publicly.”
Today the Bar dismissed the appeal.
General Counsel to the Bar, Sylvia Stevens said in a letter written to Larson,
“given the directly contradictory accounts of the parties and the total absence of any other evidence, I cannot conclude that there is sufficient evidence to form a reasonable belief that misconduct may have occurred.”
Accusing the Bar of trying to sweep the matter under the rug, Larson said,
“They have decided not to investigate to find out if it is indeed true or not.”
Stevens said that Larson had not produced any additional witnesses to wrongdoing on Kulongoski’s part adding in regards to Leonhardt’s memory of the events,
“it is indisputable that memories fade with time and that two people can walk away from the same conversation with very different ideas of what was said.”
Anna Richter Taylor, spokesperson for Kulongoski said,
“This is the outcome the governor expected. He's pleased to continue the work the citizens of Oregon elected him to do.”
Ms. Taylor also said it was
“time to move forward,”very reminiscent of other prominent Democrats caught with their pants down around their ankles in the past.