Oregon public records advocate quits, citing interference

In this undated photo released by Oregon Secretary of State show Ginger McCall, the first public records advocate for the State of Oregon. McCall announced her resignation Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, saying Gov. Kate Brown's office abused its authority and wanted her to secretly work for the governor while giving the impression she was working in the public interest.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon official who is resigning her job aimed at making government more transparent is urging her successor to defend the independence of the new office in the face of attempted influence by the governor's office.

Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall, who announced her resignation Monday, said in a memo to her unnamed successor that staff from Democratic Gov. Kate Brown's office attempted to pressure her into secretly representing the governor's interests.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Andrew Foltz investigated the degree of autonomy of the advocate, a new position which McCall filled last year, and said the governor probably cannot force McCall to hide the fact that she was receiving instructions from Brown's office.

Foltz's memo, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, said there is nothing in legislation that says the governor's office exercises day-to-day supervision over McCall.

Brown's spokeswoman, Kate Kondayen, said the governor's office does not disagree with the opinion.

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