Adams will not face charges over Breedlove affair

Adams will not face charges over Breedlove affair »Play Video
Portland Mayor Sam Adams is interviewed Friday, May 22, 2009, in front of City Hall.

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland Mayor Sam Adams will not face charges in connection with his relationship with former legislative intern Beau Breedlove, according to a report released Monday morning by Oregon Attorney General John Kroger.

The state Department of Justice had been investigating Adams since January, after the mayor admitted to having a sexual relationship with Breedlove when the younger man was 18. In the weeks that followed, Breedlove told reporters Adams kissed him twice while he was still 17 but that the contact was mutual and that Adams had asked him to conceal the nature of the relationship.

The state investigation determined that there was no evidence to corroborate Breedlove's claims that illegal sexual contact occurred while he was a minor.

"Here there are serious questions about the credibility of Breedlove's account, due to his prior inconsistent statements, the lack of corroborating witnesses or evidence, his attempt to gain personally from the matters related to his involvement and his prior criminal record," concluded investigators in a 17-page report. READ THE FULL REPORT

Attempts to reach Breedlove, pictured at left, were not immediately successful.

Report doesn't judge Breedlove's truthfulness

At a press conference Monday morning, Kroger said the office was not making any judgment about Breedlove's truthfulness or his "personal credibility." Instead, he said, the report questioned "the credibility of his account" in terms of how it would hold up during a hearing.

"What the report does is assess the likely impeachment that would occur if Mr. Breedlove was called as a witness," Kroger said. "It wouldn't work in a court of law."

As such, Breedlove refused to answer certain questions — including how much money he's made from publicity surrounding the scandal — and to provide certain witnesses.

The report also noted that the mayor was slow in providing investigators access to certain phone memory cards and e-mail accounts.

Kroger called this caveat "one of the anomalies of Oregon law." Still, he declined to take witnesses before a grand jury where they would be compelled by law to tell the truth. He said it was unlikely any testimony before a grand jury would have changed the outcome of the investigation.

Adams: Report clears me of wrongdoing

Adams released a statement Monday afternoon, saying the attorney general's investigation "clear(ed) me of wrongdoing." 

"I made mistakes in my personal life that led to this investigation," Adams said in the statement. "As a result, the city I love was put through an ordeal. I am gratified the investigation has been completed, and I want to reiterate that I am sorry." READ THE FULL STATEMENT

The scandal has dogged him throughout his first term as mayor, with some questioning his effectiveness. A citizen group planning to try to recall him will continue their efforts despite Monday's report, an organizer said.

Investigators examine kissing claims

The investigation looked at whether Adams had sexual intercourse or sexual contact with Breedlove prior to June 25, 2005, when Breedlove turned 18. Both men denied having sexual intercourse before Breedlove was 18, and thus there was no basis for a criminal charge there, according to the report.

However, in regards to sexual contact, investigators looked into Breedlove's claim that Adams kissed him in April 2005 after a lunch meeting at the Macaroni Grill in Portland. Adams denied it, saying "it is common for him to greet or leave friends with a hug or quick kiss on the cheek" and that "this type of exchange may have occurred," the report said. And on a separate occasion during a First Thursday event at City Hall, Breedlove claimed Adams "engaged in a long, mutual kiss on the lips" with him in a bathroom, something Adams also denied.

Investigators were unable to corroborate Breedlove's claims. The report said he has made inconsistent statements to state investigators, the media and lawyers about the alleged sexual contact. The report also shed light on how the story may have come to light, saying Breedlove tried to interest the media in his story in 2007 and 2008 by sending anonymous e-mails and then providing information about his relationship with Adams to Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury, two alternative newspapers.

The fact that Breedlove benefited financially from the attention - he was paid for a cover story in Unzipped magazine - and has a felony second-degree theft conviction on his record "compromised his credibility as a witness," the report said.

The investigation also looked into the following issues:

  • Whether Adams hired a Portland Mercury reporter in an effort to stop her from pursing a story about the Breedlove relationship.
  • Whether the mayor used government resources to disseminate false information.
  • Whether Adams committed theft or theft by deception by making false statements about his relationship with Breedlove in campaign fundraising materials.

State investigators could not find evidence that any of those claims were true.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report