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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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Bureau of Environmental Services Update

October 22, 2014

City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade released an audit today regarding the BES Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant office building.

It contains a number of serious and troubling findings. 

I have directed the City Attorney to begin an outside investigation. The investigation will be conducted by Ed Harnden and Paula Barran, partners at the Barran Liebman law firm.  Ed is a past president of the Oregon State Bar and both Ed and Paula are highly respected employment lawyers.  They have extensive experience conducting sensitive high level investigations, including those arising in the public sector.

Given the gravity of the issues raised in the audit, I have placed BES Director Dean Marriott on paid administrative leave pending the conclusion of the outside investigation.  Jim Hagerman, BES’s Business Services Manager, will serve as acting bureau director. 

I expect the investigation to be completed before the end of the year.

Portland City Council will review the auditor’s findings at a work session scheduled for October 28, 2014, 9:30-11:30am. The meeting is open to the public; no testimony is taken during work sessions.

Press Release from Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade


BES Columbia Building: scope additions and ineffective design oversight led to substantially higher project costs

City Audit, LaVonne Griffin-Valade


After Damning Audit of Budget-Busting Building, Fish Puts Sewer Bureau Chief on Leave

Denis Theriault in the Portland Mercury


Portland administrator Dean Marriott placed on paid leave as audit finds insufficient oversight on $11.5 million office project

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Overspending and under-accounting at the Columbia treatment plant: Editorial Agenda 2014

Oregonian Editorial Board


Portland Environmental Services Director Dean Marriott Placed on Leave After City Audit of Sewer Office Building

Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week


Audit Finds Numerous Costly Problems With Portland's Columbia Building

Rob Manning on OPB


BES director put on leave during investigation

Dan Tilkin, KOIN6 News


Sewer director on leave during cost overrun investigation

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune