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Kotek names new chair to help steer liquor control commission away from scandal

Marvin Révoal is the new chairman of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
Marvin Révoal is the new chairman of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.

Gov. Tina Kotek has chosen the new chairman of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, which is under investigation for corruption.

Marvin Révoal, who has served on the board for nine years, assumed the role Friday. He is currently vice president of business development for Wilson Heirgood Associates insurance and previously worked 30 years at Pacific Benefit Planners. He was previously a police officer in Springfield and Eugene, according to his OLCC biography. .

“Marvin Révoal is a respected community leader, and I trust that he is committed to leading the commission through this time of change and course correction,” Kotek said in a statement.

His appointment came eight days after Kotek forced the previous chair, Paul Rosenbaum, to resign following a news conference in which Rosenbaum ranted about media coverage of the scandal plaguing the agency. At least six top-level employees of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission had used their positions to obtain special access to rare bourbon that was only available to the public through a lottery.

Rosenbaum’s resignation came a day after Steve Marks stepped down as the agency’s executive director following Kotek’s request that he go. The board picked Craig Prins, inspector general at the Oregon Department of Corrections, as the agency’s interim director on Kotek’s recommendation. Prins said he will remove the managers involved in the scandal and help the agency correct its course and strengthen protocols. He also said he will ensure the agency cooperates with the criminal investigation, led by Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

“I look forward to working with Chair Révoal and the other commissioners to establish greater accountability, institute rigorous oversight and create transparent protocols for managing OLCC’s operations,” Prins said in a statement.

Révoal will be in charge of ensuring that those changes take hold, Kotek said.

“I look forward to doing all that I can to help OLCC advance and fulfill the mission for which it was created,” Révoal said in a statement. “I believe in the agency and I believe in our control state model.”

Oregon is among 17 states in the U.S. that control a monopoly over the sale and distribution of alcohol, according to the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association.

Révoal’s appointment as chair leaves a seventh spot on the board to be filled by Kotek and approved by the state Senate. All board members are volunteers. They represent each of the state’s six congressional districts and the liquor industry and are appointed to renewable four-year terms.

The Board of Commissioners sets policy and approves or rejects liquor and marijuana licenses, while professional staff handle the day-to-day operations of the agency.

The Oregon Capital Chronicle is a professional, nonprofit news organization. We are an affiliate of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. The Capital Chronicle retains full editorial independence, meaning decisions about news and coverage are made by Oregonians for Oregonians.

Lynne Terry has more than 30 years of journalism experience. She reported on health and food safety in her 18 years at The Oregonian, was a senior producer at Oregon Public Broadcasting and Paris correspondent for National Public Radio for nine years.