OLCC director resigns after DUII citation

OLCC director resigns after DUII citation
- By JOSEPH B. FRAZIER
Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. - The administrator of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission resigned from her post Thursday after being arrested and charged with drunk driving, according to Portland police.

Lonn Hoklin, spokesman for Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski, said Teresa Kaiser e-mailed her resignation to members of the OLCC board of directors Thursday morning.

Police spokesman Detective Paul Dolbey said Kaiser was stopped Saturday night near Portland's Sellwood Bridge. Her blood alcohol level was not immediately available.

"Due to circumstances that I deeply regret, I am resigning as executive director of the commission," Kaiser's e-mail to the board read. "I will return on May 15th to tie up loose ends and will say my goodbyes at that time. Although my departure is abrupt, I am confident the commission will move forward."

Kaiser assumed the post Sept. 15, 2003, after several years with Maryland's child support enforcement office.

She is a graduate of Portland's Lewis & Clark Law School and worked as an attorney for seven years as well as in liquor enforcement in Colorado and Washington. She was an OLCC inspector from 1981-1982.

Oregon is one of 18 "control" states for liquor, which means the state owns the beverages at some point in the distribution process. The OLCC director is appointed by the board, which is named by the governor. The OLCC board will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to appoint an acting executive director.

"The governor naturally is very concerned about this. But he has total confidence that the commission will handle this and do the right thing," Hoklin said.

Statewide, liquor sales are on track to reach $722 million - $77 million more than projected a year ago - for the two-year period ending in June 2007, according to state estimates.

During Kaiser's tenure at the liquor control agency, the OLCC began a two-year pilot program to allow sales of distilled spirits in separate liquor stores within supermarkets instead of in traditional state-run outlets.

So far, the pilot program has brought in more revenue than expected, the agency has said.

But the pilot program has upset some existing liquor agents, who say it will create unfair competition.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)