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Oregon Lawmakers Hit With Ethics Complaint Over Wolf Bill

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Three Oregon lawmakers have been hit with an ethics complaintfiled by environmentalists. It was filed Monday with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission against three representatives who helped pass the so-called wolf delisting bill in February.

Credit Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands says Representatives Greg Barreto, Brad Witt and Sal Esquivel broke state law by deliberately misrepresenting the purpose behind house bill 4040 during the legislative session.

The Oregon Court of Appeals cited the bill last month when it tossed out a lawsuit filed by environmentalists trying to reverse a state decision to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list. Nick Cady is Legal Director for Cascadia Wildlands.

Cady: “The removal of the grey wolf from the state list of endangered species removes a critical layer of protections for all imperiled species. The statute essentially carved out a species specific exemption to say oh, we don't have to follow sound science, we don't have to follow the law, when it comes to wolves and it sets a dangerous precedent going forward.”

The ethics complaint says the lawmakers repeatedly denied that the purpose was to intervene in the courtroom.


Copyright 2016 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is KLCC's All Things Considered host. She also reports on a variety of topics including local government, education, and breaking news.