Lane County Board of Commission then-Chair Sid Leiken and Vice Chair Jay Bozievich knew of the changes in Liane Inkster’s compensation, according to a letter from the Oregon State Bar to Inkster (formerly Richardson).
According to the letter, after the conclusion of an investigation by Greg Olson of USO Consulting and Investigation, “the board later conducted a full independent audit” of Inkster. “It concluded that [Inkster] did not act fraudulently and that the board chair and vice chair knew and approved of the changes in [her] compensation.”
The entire April 22, 2014 letter concludes that Inkster did not knowingly make an “inaccurate representation of material fact that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s fitness to practice law.” EW received the letter after inquiring into the status of the bar’s disciplinary investigation into Inkster.
The Oregon State Bar opened an investigation into Inkster after she nominated herself for a position on the bar’s Disciplinary Board after “Inkster had been sacked by the Lane County Board of Commissioners for covertly boosting her pay in violation of county policy,” according to The Register-Guard.
But according to the letter from the state bar to Inkster, she and “the board agreed to terminate [Inkster’s] employment contract based on contractual dispute. No one found that [Inkster] acted dishonestly, fraudulently or deceitfully.”
Inkster told Olson that commissioners Leiken, Bozievich and Faye Stewart had knowledge of her compensation changes. Leiken and Stewart denied that knowledge to the investigator, according to the report. Bozievich told the investigator he knew of one of her pay changes but denied knowing about the change that allowed Richardson to sell back and turn into immediate take-home pay much more of her unused paid vacation and sick leave than county policy allows.
According to the letter, Inkster told the Assistant Disciplinary Counsel Mary Cooper that the issues began when the Lane County board “wanted, for political reasons, to delay discussions” over whether she should get a raise. At the time, Inkster was making more than $150,000 a year.
EW has asked the county to respond to whether Leiken and Bozievich knew of the changes and has asked for a copy of the county’s independent audit into Richardson that found she didn’t act fraudulently.
The letter from the bar is below.