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Governor Brown 'deeply regrets' controversy over Public Records Advocate's resignation

Gov. Brown responded to the resignation of Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall after the latter said interference from the Governor's staff caused her to quit.

Posted: Sep 17, 2019 2:42 PM
Updated: Sep 17, 2019 3:07 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown "deeply regrets" the controversy created by the sudden resignation of Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall this month, Brown said in a statement released on Tuesday. McCall announced her resignation at the beginning of last week, citing interference from Gov. Brown's staff.

“First, let me say that while there has been misunderstanding in and around both processes, I deeply regret that controversies have been created and acknowledge that I am ultimately accountable," Brown said. "I see now that the structure of the Advocate position, which I supported, was flawed from the beginning."

Brown did champion the creation of the new Public Records Advocate position, which McCall accepted in January of 2018 after it was approved by lawmakers. The position was intended to create greater government transparency and accountability among Oregon's state agencies and elected officials.

Ostensibly, the position reported to the Governor's office. However, McCall later said she'd been led to understand that she would have greater independence and autonomy.

In her resignation letter to Governor Brown, McCall described feeling pressured by the Governor's staff — particularly Misha Isaak, the General Counsel — to let them oversee her work, without letting others know that this oversight was occurring.


RELATED: Oregon Public Records Advocate quits, citing interference


“Through my years in leadership positions, I’ve come to realize that in politics, a discussion of fault often knows no boundaries until someone takes responsibility for making sure the right thing happens," Brown said. "I am taking that responsibility. As Governor, I want to restore focus on what matters most, which is openness in government."

“I’ve met personally with Ginger McCall to express my regret at her resignation, and to hear her thoughts on how to reinforce the strength of the public records advocate position and better serve the transparency process," Brown continued. "I proposed the concept of a Public Records Advocate in 2017, and I am a strong believer in the principles behind its creation."

Governor Brown said that she and lawmakers could "do much better" and would look into making changes to the position in order to grant the next Advocate greater independence.

Prior to McCall's resignation, Brown had tapped Isaak for a seat on the Oregon Court of Appeals. Following McCall's revelations, top Republican lawmakers, journalists, and others had called for Brown to rescind his appointment.

“This morning I received Misha Isaak’s letter declining his appointment to the Oregon Court of Appeals," Brown said on Tuesday. "I have come to know Misha for his personal and professional integrity, and he has only reinforced that in making this decision. He is an excellent lawyer and a valued member of my team."

Brown also promised to develop a standardization process for the appointment of future judges:

"In the future, the Governor’s office will announce any vacancies on the Oregon bench publicly and will clearly communicate the process we will follow in reviewing candidates for any judicial positions. I am very proud of my record of building a judiciary that reflects the diversity of the people of Oregon, with the highest level of character and legal excellence.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 153
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Multnomah116559
Marion96025
Washington73917
Clackamas31211
Deschutes1250
Umatilla1163
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Polk9812
Lane733
Yamhill707
Jackson660
Benton555
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Jefferson330
Malheur320
Coos310
Douglas270
Wasco241
Josephine231
Hood River180
Columbia160
Lincoln120
Morrow110
Curry70
Union60
Tillamook60
Crook60
Wallowa20
Lake20
Sherman10
Harney10
Grant10
Baker10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 111951

Reported Deaths: 4172
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Los Angeles550012362
Riverside7486323
San Diego7481269
Orange6261147
San Bernardino5246204
Alameda339096
Santa Clara2776141
San Francisco258842
Kern225038
San Mateo210484
Tulare184484
Fresno174335
Santa Barbara164912
Imperial163427
Contra Costa145037
Sacramento140056
Ventura107833
San Joaquin85834
Kings7464
Stanislaus74429
Sonoma5534
Monterey53010
Solano51722
Marin48314
Merced2837
San Luis Obispo2691
Placer2159
Santa Cruz2132
Yolo21124
Napa1123
Madera1062
Humboldt1013
El Dorado900
San Benito872
Sutter462
Del Norte450
Butte440
Nevada411
Shasta394
Mono371
Mendocino300
Yuba301
Lake210
Inyo201
Amador190
Mariposa161
Glenn160
Calaveras150
Siskiyou70
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
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