Oregon Public Broadcasting recently reported that Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan was quitting her lucrative second job as a “consultant” for Veriede Holding, LLC, an affiliate of a marijuana dispensary called La Mota, after it was found she “broke public trust by agreeing to work for a cannabis industry player — and political donor — that stood to gain from an audit the Secretary of State’s Office was carrying out.”
“Clearly, this contract raises questions,” she said. “Upon painful reflection, taking that contract was poor judgment, and for that, I am sorry.”
She offered details of how she obtained the contract from Rosa Cazares and Aaron Mitchell, who gave her the consulting gig after she told them she was going to take a job teaching at Willamette University to supplement her $77,000 secretary of state salary.
“I’m starting over financially after a divorce. I have two young kids. I have student loans and other bills. I’m a renter in the expensive Portland metro area, and I’m the sole income earner in my household,” she said.
“Rosa mentioned that her company was looking to expand outside of Oregon and looking for contractors to do research on the industry and U.S. states and territories,” wrote Fagan, adding, “This opportunity interested me because it was something I was highly qualified to do.”
According to the report, “For that work, the secretary was paid $10,000 a month beginning on Feb. 20. She was eligible to receive a $30,000 bonus if La Mota secured licenses in any state besides Oregon and New Mexico.”
“It was not immediately clear on Monday why New Mexico was singled out in the contract, but it may be because the company was already making inroads there. La Mota CEO Rosa Cazares met with New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor Howie Morales several times. ‘They were here asking questions about doing business in New Mexico, asking about the cannabis industry, the recent changes to our laws,’ said Jim Farrell, a spokesman for the lieutenant governor. Farrell said Cazares did not ask for specific help, but she did contribute to Morales’ campaign fund,” the report noted.
In the summer of 2022, La Mota purchased a small bakery in Deming to convert to a dispensary, as well as two other properties in the state. However, Deming rejected the proposal due to its close vicinity to a nearby daycare.
Fagan claimed to have spent 15 hours per week working on the New Mexico contract, describing it as tedious research.
“Fagan was twice asked whether she would release her tax returns to shed further light on her financial situation. She said she would not release those tax documents. Monday’s press conference concluded as a journalist asked the question again,” the report concluded.
8 thoughts on “Lt. Gov. Morales connected to Oregon Sec. of State who ‘broke public trust’”
Call me naive, but I really don’t see any potential scandal here involving Lt. Gov. Morales and Shemia Fagan.
One time over the line sweet Jesus!
Keep studying the situation, these people have been involved in countless scandals in Oregon and controversy follows them like a dark cloud.
The legalization of Cannabis in NM was touted as an economic opportunity for local residents, and that has rapidly evolved into a haven for deadbeat carpetbaggers for everywhere.
If Howie values his current situation he should donate the money to charity and run as fast as he can from further involvement with these unsavory types.
his neck their noose.
Damn Auto fill
One toke over the line sweet Jesus!
Sounds like she should give up her tax returns. They forced the issue on Trump and he did not get a bonus for opening pop shops in NM. But of course the dems want this to be a non issue, this is why our state is last in education, 3rd to the last in spending our tax dollar to support the people to name a few. I say LOCK HER UP. Just kidding, she needs to be looked into. Transparency on both sides is the way to go.
She is in a position of trust and allowed herself to be bought/bribed to use any influence she had to further la motto’s business. She explained her reason for doing this was because she wanted more money to spend regardless of the trust placed on her.When you step through that door it only gets easier next time. She new what she was doing was wrong and only regrets it because she got caught. The only solution is to remove her.
It would be prudent and informative for Fagen to release her tax information.
Well that was a waste of time. Lil Johnny is Rabid about Grissom’s band of Weasels and he swings the Pinata Stick with Righteous Indignation. He really should look for the Real things these Butt Pirates do in the fe. I’ve known St. Howie for YEARS what he once was he’s not anymore. He took over for a Real Good Senator who cared about Everyone. Lil Howie has Sold His Soul to the Devil and he’s never gonna be nothin but a fool segundo to A Slimy Creature.