PORTLAND, Ore. - Mayor Sam Adams on Sunday evening said he planned to go back to work rather than resign over a scandal that erupted after he admitted to lying about a sexual relationship with a teenager
In a statement released by his spokesman, Adams asked Portlanders for forgiveness and to judge him by his handling of city affairs in light of tough economic and financial times.
"Tomorrow, I go back to work as your mayor. I know I have let you down and made mistakes. I ask for your forgiveness. I believe I have a lot to offer the city I love during this time of important challenges," he said in the statement. "Beginning tomorrow morning, I will be back in my office doing the work that the last 20 years of public service have prepared me for. And my pledge to you is this: I will work harder than I have in my life to meet the challenges facing our great city." READ THE FULL STATEMENT | WATCH ADAMS' RECORDED STATEMENT
Word had spread earlier in the day that Adams, sworn in just three weeks earlier as the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city, would continue on rather than resign. Hundreds had rallied on his behalf on Friday, but many have called for him to step down, including major newspapers in the city.
The mayor's decision came the same day as The Oregonian newspaper published details from an exclusive interview with the young man at the center of the scandal, Beau Breedlove.
In that interview, Breedlove told the paper he and Adams kissed on two separate occasions - including once in a City Hall bathroom - when he was just 17. But Breedlove insisted there was no sexual relationship between the two before he was 18, the age of consent.
Breedlove reportedly told the paper that he knew what he was doing and that he never felt like a victim.
However, Breedlove's account added new details about the relationship that Adams did not mention in a Tuesday press conference after the scandal broke, in which the mayor said he was trying to come clean.
In that press conference, Adams publicly apologized for lying about his sexual relationship with Breedlove in 2005 as Adams began his campaign for mayor in 2007. He said he lied because he didn't think people would believe him when he said the teen was 18 during their brief sexual relationship.
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger has agreed to launch a criminal investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, Adams on Sunday could not be reached for additional comment. His statement did not address questions raised by The Oregonian.
Instead, in the statement he asked the public to judge him by his ability to:
- Prioritize city spending to protect vital services such as public safety
- Deliver on the $500 million economic stimulus strategy to put Portlanders back to work
- Improve schools
- Continue to position the city as the hub of the country's green economy
"As we push ahead together on these issues, each and every day - with lessons learned in hand - I will strive to regain your trust and faith in my ability to serve this city," he said in the statement.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report
Previous Coverage of this Story
- Sam Adams statement on staying in office
- Mayor set to announce he's staying
- Portland waits for mayor's decision
- What will Sam Adams do?
- Willamette Week: Adams will decide very soon
- Supporters rally for Sam Adams
- Adams a no-show as scandal divides city
- Calls grow for Adams to resign
- Explainer: How a recall of the election would work
- Beau Breedlove releases statement on Portland mayor
- Mayor says relationship wrong but he won't resign
- Sam Adams press conference - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
- Mayor Adams exclusive interview with KATU
- Adams releases statement about relationship
- Adams admits to lying about sex with teen