Adams sheds light on decision to stay

Adams sheds light on decision to stay »Play Video
File photo of Mayor Sam Adams (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Ross William Hamilton)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Mayor Sam Adams says he decided to stay in office to offer the city some stability and make amends for lying about his sexual relationship with a teenager.

Adams, whose actions are being investigated by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger, announced last month that he would not quit over the scandal that has defined his first month on the job. He has been reluctant to talk about his decision, telling reporters he wants to focus on city business.

But in an interview with Out.com, the Web site for gay news magazine Out, Adams said he can offer at least six to nine months of relative stability by staying.

Regardless, the mayor is still taking heat over the scandal. During Wednesday's City Council meeting, two people signed up for the chance to address Adams for three minutes during the open public comment period, one of them being radio talk show host Lars Larson.

But the confrontation was anticlimactic.

Larson read from a prepared statement in which he pointedly asked Adams a rapid fire series of questions about his actions, such as whether he thought Portland voters would have elected him had they known what they know now and why he didn't come clean with the information before the Willamette Week newspaper brought the story to light.

"Why should commissioners believe anything you say from this point forward ..." Larson asked.

Adams did not answer any of the questions.

"Thank you very much," the mayor said once Larson was done speaking.

Another man who also spoke was highly critical of Adams.

Some clapped when he was done, but otherwise the council simply moved on without addressing any of the comments.

The only heated exchange came when a woman tried to confront Adams during a separate agenda item, and the mayor eventually cut her off, saying she needed to keep her comments to the topic at hand.

"Shame on you, Mayor Adams," she said for not allowing her comments. "You are trying to silence this."

Adams has declined to talk with KATU about the scandal since his decision to stay on as mayor, cutting off interviews when reporters have brought up the topic.

The attorney general has thus far declined to discuss the Adams investigation. But it is likely to focus on whether Adams committed third-degree sex abuse in his 2005 relationship with Beau Breedlove. That law prohibits sexual contact with someone younger than 18.

Adams has denied having any sexual contact with Breedlove before the teen turned 18.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report