Portland waits for mayor's decision

Portland waits for mayor's decision »Play Video
Portland Mayor Sam Adams talks to reporters outside City Hall on Saturday morning.

PORTLAND, Ore. - City residents will not find out Saturday whether their embattled mayor will resign or remain in office.

During an impromptu press conference outside City Hall Saturday morning, Portland Mayor Sam Adams said he planned to meet separately with the four city commissioners but would not make an immediate decision afterward.

"It's a big decision, and I want to make a good one - but I also don't want to leave the city sort of without an answer for an hour longer than I have to," he said. "With my meetings today, I will have, I think, enough feedback to make a decision and will do it with as much haste as I possibly can. I'm sorry I can't be more definitive than that."

Many have called for Adams to resign in the wake of his admission earlier this week that he lied about his sexual relationship with an 18-year-old male to cover it up during last year's mayoral campaign. He also asked the teenager to lie about the affair.

With Adams' swearing-in on Jan. 1, Portland became the largest city in the country with an openly gay mayor.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the 45-year-old Adams admitted having sex with Beau Breedlove, who was a 17-year-old legislative intern when they met. But Adams and Breedlove both have said they did not have sex until he turned 18, the legal age of consent. Adams made a public apology about his conduct.

At the request of city commissioners, the Portland police chief and the Multnomah County District Attorney, Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has agreed to investigate whether Adams committed any crime. It's not clear how long that probe will take.

Adams stayed out of the public eye following his press conference, not showing up to City Hall the rest of the week.

Mayor talks when cornered

On Saturday, Adams initially ignored questions from reporters as he headed into City Hall, but he eventually answered them after his key card failed to open the locked entrance and he was cornered by reporters.

He reiterated his apology to Portlanders, saying his mistakes have hurt them.

"This is a terrible thing to put the city through, and I feel badly about it," Adams said.

Regarding his supporters, about 400 of whom rallied on his behalf outside City Hall Friday night, the mayor called their actions "incredibly heart-warming."

"I was ... really touched," he told reporters.

He said his meetings with city commissioners on Saturday would give him a chance to weigh what move would be in the best interest of the city.

"(They) will play a huge role in my decision, absolutely," he said.

Leonard says he's done defending mayor

After a 45-minute meeting with Adams, City Commissioner Randy Leonard said Saturday afternoon that the two had had a "frank conversation."

"It was not something I looked forward to, and it was not pleasant," said a very somber-looking Leonard, pictured at right.

Leonard had publicly defended Adams when rumors about Adams' relationship with Breedlove surfaced in 2007. Leonard now says Adams lied to him at the time.

Regarding the face-to-face meeting, Leonard said the mayor did not ask for his support and he did not tell the mayor what to do.

"I'm done predicting what Sam is going to do," the commissioner said. "I'm also done defending what Sam says. So Sam has to stand on his own and make his own case for himself at this point."

If an independent investigation confirms that Adams has told the entire truth about the scandal, Leonard said he could see the mayor keeping his job.

"If there's anything else that Sam either has not admitted to or been truthful about to date, I don't see how he survives that," Leonard said.

City Commissioner Nick Fish told reporters after his meeting with Adams that he was not going to discuss the substance of their conversation.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who was the last of the city council members to meet with Adams on Saturday, told The Associated Press he expected Adams would make a decision within the next two days.

"I think we'll know Monday," Saltzman said. "I got a pretty clear indication of that."

Saltzman said that after Adams asked him for his advice, he urged the mayor to stay on the job. He added, however, that he did not get a sense of what Adams' final decision would be.

Saltzman has repeatedly said in recent days that Adams should not resign immediately.

Saltzman says Adams is needed to spearhead the city's efforts to claim a share of a proposed federal stimulus package and address other challenges.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report

Previous Coverage of this Story