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    Portland Mayor to respond to reports of gay sexual relationship with teen

    Portland Mayor Sam Adams is expected to make his first public statement today in response to news reports that he had a sexual relationship with an 18-year-old in summer 2005 and, on the eve of his campaign for the city's highest office, lied about it and urged the young man to lie as well.
    Wade Nkrumah, the mayor's spokesman, said Adams plans to issue a public apology at 1:30 p.m. today in the Rose Room at Portland City Hall.
    Adams said Monday that he made a mistake in not admitting the relationship when reporters first asked about it in September 2007. He did not describe the relationship itself as a mistake.
    "I should have been honest about what happened, but I was not," he told The Oregonian from Washington, D.C., where he is attending a national mayors conference and the presidential inauguration. "I apologize."
    Adams met Beau Breedlove in April 2005. Breedlove, then 17, was an intern at the Oregon Legislature for then-Rep. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer. Adams, 42 and a city of Portland commissioner, was in Salem on a lobbying trip. They struck up a conversation, and Breedlove called Adams soon after, hoping for both professional and personal advice on coming out of the closet in the political world.

    Breedlove had lunch with Adams and visited his City Hall office, and the pair went out for dinner alone at the Lotus Cardroom & Cafe in Portland. In a joking, locker-room manner, aides warned Adams that Breedlove was interested in him romantically. (Even after Breedlove had faded into memory, aides still told Adams to make sure his dates were "older than Beau.")
    Adams took a date to Breedlove's 18th birthday party in June 2005 at his parents' home in Salem. Breedlove invited Adams to the family party, both men have said, because he wanted to show his family that it's possible to be gay, successful and happy.
    Not long after, Breedlove moved to Hawaii and then Michigan, though he has since returned to Portland.
    In fall 2007, as Adams made plans to run for mayor, rumors surfaced that he and Breedlove had a sexual relationship -- and that their liaison began when Breedlove was 17. That's a crime -- misdemeanor sexual abuse, contributing to the sexual delinquency of a minor or sexual misconduct, depending on certain details -- under Oregon law.
    Public denial
    Back in 2007, Adams and Breedlove both described their relationship as a casual, mentor-and-protege type friendship. Adams and City Commissioner Randy Leonard, a close ally, blamed what they termed a "nasty smear" by Pearl District real-estate developer Robert Ball, another gay man considering a run for mayor.
    Adams sent a letter to constituents denying the charges. He held a news conference to refute them and suggested such gossip would scare other gay men from coming out of the closet. Several longtime friends came forward to support Adams' story by detailing how he had supported and mentored them as they struggled to come out.
    "I didn't get into public life to allow my instinct to help others to be snuffed out by fear of sleazy misrepresentations or political manipulation," Adams wrote in his letter to Portlanders. "I understand the need for good judgment, and I work very hard to keep within the bounds of propriety -- as I did in this case."
    Adams now says that he and Breedlove dated briefly a few weeks after Breedlove turned 18. He said that he knows the law: "I wouldn't get involved with someone under 17. That's illegal. That's just wrong."
    Breedlove, via text message, declined an interview request, but Willamette Week reported that in a text message he told that publication: "I can't say anything. I'm sorry. I'm scared. If the story goes to print with me saying anything, I'm worried I will look like a scumbag. If I do say anything, then Sam's fate is in my hands."
    No investigation planned
    The Portland Police Bureau will not investigate based on Adams' statements that Breedlove was 18 at the time of the sexual relationship, and thus the mayor was not admitting a crime, said Officer Cathe Kent, a police spokeswoman.
    However, if a complaint was made to the bureau, "we would be willing to look at any evidence that is brought to our attention," Kent said.
    When the rumors first surfaced in 2007, Breedlove urged Adams to tell the truth, Adams said. But the new mayor said he did not think Portlanders would believe his version of events, that he and Breedlove were not involved until after his 18th birthday.
    So he persuaded Breedlove to lie and steered the young man to his political consultant, Mark Wiener. Wiener has acknowledged talking with Breedlove to help polish his responses to the media but said that Breedlove and Adams both denied they were more than friends.
    Adams, pushed into his admission this week by new reporting by Willamette Week, said he did not know whether news that he had slept with a man 25 years his junior would have affected the 2008 mayor's race. He won in a landslide, becoming the first openly gay mayor of a top-40 U.S. city.
    He said he would not resign.
    "I made a mistake," he said. "I apologize to Portlanders for lying to them. And I apologize to Beau for asking him to lie. ... People should and can expect better of me."
    Staff writers Maxine Bernstein and James Mayer and researcher Lynne Palombo of The Oregonian contributed to this report.
    -- Anna Griffin; annagriffin@news.oregonian.com
    Sam Adams' earlier statements'
    Here's a rundown of what Sam Adams said to the media about his relationship with Beau Breedlove. Adams and others had criticized developer Robert Ball, who was considering running for Portland mayor at the time, for floating a rumor in fall 2007 of a relationship between Adams and Breedlove.

    "He (Breedlove) was looking for a mentor. I tried to be both prudent and useful to him." -- Willamette Week, Sept. 17, 2007
    "I told my staff, 'This is a 17-year-old. Make him feel welcome. Keep an eye on him.' I listened to his story. I tried to offer my own perspective, given my own background. I could've just said, 'This looks bad, so I can't help you.' But I wanted to help." -- The Oregonian, Sept. 18, 2007
    "If you wanted to take a jaundiced eye to it, I'm sure there are plenty of situations that you could look at and say maybe I should have just said, 'I'm sorry, I can't talk to you about that.' If someone comes to me looking for advice or perspective, I want to be able to offer it. At the same time, I'm very careful. I set boundaries." -- The Oregonian, Sept. 19, 2007
    "If this had come from the right wing -- and it probably will now -- that would have been one thing. But to come from another gay man is something more hurtful. It plays into the worst deep-seated fears society has about gay men: You can't trust them with your young." -- The Portland Mercury, Sept. 20, 2007
    "The ironic part of this is that even Big Brothers and Big Sisters frequently pair queer adults with queer youth. I hope this doesn't have a chilling effect on the mentoring that should go on between queer youth and adults." -- The Portland Mercury, Sept. 20, 2007
    "I'm hoping that this gives me an opportunity to talk about the bigger issues here. Like the fact that it's apparently still not OK to be gay in certain situations. It's as if, because I'm gay, I can't have any meaningful interaction with males under the age of 18." -- The Portland Mercury, Sept. 20, 2007
    "It was a scary thing to go through, I will tell you. It was a very scary thing to go through. Having someone say stuff like that ... that sort of innuendo. It can kill you professionally. Even when it's not true." -- Just Out, May 30, 2008

  2. #2
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
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    This is such a joke. If he were Republican or even the least bit conservative, the streets would be filled with the unwashed screaming, destroying property and demanding he resign. He's going to outlast it. I could just puke although I am grateful I'm retired and don't have to work for those weirdos anymore.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

 

 

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