By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Public Works director targeted for another ethics violation

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I wonder how much work time Mr. Craver is using to monitor the public works director's activities?.....Filing "ethics" violations for this trivia sounds more like a personal vendetta to me....Glad to hear Mr. Craver is so concerned about being a "good steward of the taxpayer's money"...wink, wink....

Bill B

typical of unions; harass management.

A New Generation

well tagup, to be quite frank the time that was spent on filing the violations was done solely on personal time. Did you know that Mr. Phelan, during the investigation, admitted to being trained in ethics and what should not be done? However after being found guilty of committing the first two violations, here we are with the third violation. In fact, no one is disputing that the violations were committed, so if that is the case, where in fact does the problem really originate? I will tell you where it originates, from Managers that think the taxpayers' dollars are their personal bank account.


I don’t doubt the validity of of the claims....some apparently admitted to, but I do question the severity of the issues particularly in light of the Union/ Management relationship between the parties.

A New Generation

what about the fact he was educated with a class on ethics violations and continued to commit them? Good leadership, I think not. As far as the Union / Management relationship, the employees of the County deserve the recognition they are due. The pay rate at the County is clearly weighted in favor of Management being recognized, why do the employees not deserve the same? Take that into consideration the next time you need to have services from the County provided to you, do you want someone who is happy because they are paid and treated well, or someone who is not happy and underpaid serving you? Ultimately the problem is that Management, in this case, does not get the message that you can NOT commit these violations. As far as the statement from Laura Tschabold about not knowing how Management is disciplined because it is "privy", that is just comical, when was the last time you heard of a Manager being terminated for such actions? I am sure we can recall multiple employees who have been terminated. In this case, the Manager is becoming a liability to the County. Lets review, worked on a personal vehicle at County shop, did not disclose about authorizing payment for wife's drug testing facility, drove a County vehicle to a personal hearing (violation of County policy as well as Ethics violation)not to mention current case against him for intentionally hitting a citizen with his County truck. LIABILITY......


These charges may be technical policy violations (except it sounds like incidental use has been informally allowed) but they certainly don’t merit an “ethics” hearing. ....the justification that these issues constitute mismanagement of county money is a reach at best.....Clearly there are bigger fish to fry when approaching cost saving measures for the county.
I see a union rep continuing a pissing match with management stemming from contentious negotiations.


C’mon, Craver and A New Generation, that’s really the best you’ve got?

Your lopsided level of breathless outrage over tiny, pissant little violations is cartoonish. Let the public works director pick up a gallon of milk or stop by an appointment in his county vehicle — I’ll wager most of us local taxpayers are perfectly happy allowing Phelan to steward our contributions this way. I’m certain he’s a more competent manager when he’s not worried some union hack is stalking him, watching his every move, ready to pounce at the slightest perceived misstep.

Oh, and last time I checked, management pay was higher than rank-and-file because of pesky little details like education, qualifications and experience. Yes, I know, totally unfair.

A New Generation

well TRAFIK, or should I say teachers' pet employee. Obviously, you are not paying attention to the continuous commitment of violations as well as bad decisions that come from this Manager. Lets review again for those of you who are a little slow, had personal vehicle worked on at the County shop free of charge by an employee who was on duty using county equipment and resources (violation of ORS 244.040), did not disclose about the authorization of payments for medical drug testing to his own wifes' company ( violation of ORS 244.040),Drove his County issued vehicle to another County for a personal hearing (violation of ORS 244.040) not to mention the case against him for physically hitting a citizen of the county with his assigned County truck. As far as being a competent Manager when not being targeted, I would say not, considering the multiple bad choices brought to light in the last couple of years. I wonder what we would find if they went back further...? He sounds like you, corruption at its finest. Maybe to better educate yourself you should read ORS 244.040.....More to come..??? Possibly.


yes he had someone work on his vehicle, and was disciplined for it. Alerted the county verbally of his wife’s connection to the drug testing company, rather then in writing. Then used a company vehicle for a few miles as was informally allowed according to the article.......The pending charges brought for hitting a citizen are sketchy at best and Any assumption that he violated any policy is premature.....

Your charges and allegations are clearly personal....a charge of “ corruption “ is an only question is why the article was even written or published.....but at least you got the publicity you were craving...


Yes, let’s review. Slowness seems to be a theme here.

“...had personal vehicle worked on at the [c]ounty shop free of charge...”
Perhaps stupidly, Phelan took advantage of a common practice at the time. He acknowledged his failure, reimbursed the county and was instrumental in changing informal policy to prevent such abuse in the future. Sounds like Phelan did what he should’ve done — like a good manager.

“...did not disclose... the authorization of payments... to his own wifes’ company...”
She wasn’t his wife when the contract was signed. Phelan verbally disclosed the connection but failed to do so in writing. By any reasonable interpretation, this is a tiny violation.

“...Drove his [c]ounty[-]issued vehicle to another [c]ounty for a personal hearing...”
Seriously? When confronted, Phelan reimbursed the county a tiny sum for this equally tiny violation.

“...the case against him for physically hitting a citizen... with his assigned [c]ounty truck...”
If I’m not mistaken, this case has not yet been adjudicated. As such, I prefer to hold judgment until the courts have ruled but I realize others are perfectly happy with convicting right up front. Further, this charge was brought by a landowner with massive quantities of potentially dangerous garbage on his property who has resisted county efforts at clean-up. Sounds like someone (else) with a grudge.

You mention “multiple bad choices” and “corruption at its finest” but offer nothing other than the above as evidence. If Craven is such the hero protector of the county purse, he might consider that never-ending ethics violation hearings over laughable little things cost the county money and time, too. Perhaps he should confine his stalking and spying to matters a majority of taxpayers truly care about. Or at least tone down the ridiculous level of outrage.


See the following for more:

A New Generation

well TRAFIK, you sound like you have a personal interest in this issue. maybe perhaps you should attend the contested hearing for Mr. Phelan and personally defend him. A tiny violation? So the lawmakers of the State of Oregon who created and passed the Ethics laws of our state are wrong? By the way what he did when having his own vehicle worked on was in no way a common standard practice, you really need to check your misstated facts before you present them. Funny how people who are guilty try to cry foul. Don't forget the Ethics Commission found him GUILTY on all three incidents, pretty substantial "evidence" to prove the allegations for me. When you refer to the News register articles for reference, don't forget to include the video taken of Mr. Phelan running into the citizen with his County truck, pretty hard to dispute video evidence, or is that the Union harassing Management also? Lets not forget the severe medical injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident he was involved in ( that was his fault) is the reason he missed the hearing, perhaps if he was not illegally riding a motorcycle without the proper endorsement "license" he would not have been in the accident due to the fact he should not have been there in the first place. That, however, is just another example of the great judgment he is displaying......


Clearly, You are the one with the personal issue with Mr. Phelan.......
Reasonable people will see your “mismanagement” and “corruption” allegations for what they are.....A personal attack on a manager and a weak attempt to improve your status as the union VP.
I’m disappointed that the NR couldn’t recognize the obvious motive behind this dispute and decided to publish this “story” Mr Craver exactly what he was looking for....


Boy, you really hate Phelan, don't you, A New Generation?

I provided references to my "misstated facts" so you may wish to correct the newspaper, too. Everyone knows how newspapers get facts wrong all the time and it's up to angry, well-informed readers like you to correct them. (That was sarcasm, just so we're clear.)

While most will agree there's a significant difference between stopping by the grocer in a county vehicle versus, say, selling the county vehicle and pocketing the cash, I'm just relieved our local county union leadership and its minions have the intelligence to show the rest of us how wrong we are in our crude understanding of ethics.

A New Generation

the violation has nothing to do with stopping by the store to get milk. it has everything to do with breaking the law. If employees committed the same violation do you think the county would overlook the issue? Not! They would treat an employee as an example, just like they did with Mr. Paolo, oops how soon you forget....


Taxpayer waste?....probably not more than $104 worth. I would wager that Mr. Phelan has given much more back to the taxpayer in responding to 24/7 emergency type calls outside of regular business hours.

What is that old saying?..... You strain your water so you won't accidentally swallow a gnat, but you swallow a camel! I think that may be Matthew 23:24

fir tree

In my opinion, this situation is but a symptom of a much bigger issue - management/employee relations. For years they have deteriorated under the anti-employee regime of Lewis, Tschabold, Primozich, Starrett, and Vesper, with Huffer in tow. Throw Diana Moffitt into that mix as someone who makes good money off of anti-employee actions and you have a formula for what's happening now. Instead of providing leadership to ultimately improve services to the public, political ideologies reign wherein anti-government agendas have degraded the organization dramatically. Instead of building on positive management/employee relationships they did everything possible to tear them down. It's no wonder that the employees are disgruntled. The people who suffer are the citizens. Hopefully with Olson and now Kulla in a position to make radical changes, things will begin to improve. It all starts at the top.


What a sorry group of fussbudgets, nitpickers and backstabbers. Pettiness ranks as one of the worst of all character traits and the same old suspects share it in spades. They should feel mortified and then grow up.
Fir tree summarized the situation perfectly.


They say....nobody likes a tattletale. I've read the difference between tattling and reporting is this...

Tattling is meant to get someone into trouble....Reporting is meant to get someone out of trouble.

A New Generation

remember that the next time you see a crime being committed and "report" it.


Wow! I’m having trouble with the idea that “...reporting is meant to get someone out of trouble”. How does that statement apply when you’re a young couple being threatened with a knife over a parking issue? Was the couple “tattle-tailing” on the fine young lady from Willamina? Why does someone “reporting” about something turn into “tattle tailing”? When you don’t care for the report? Does the idea that Mr Phelan responded to issues outside of regular work hours allow him to do some shady things? It seems others, who are not “union members” had issues with his actions?

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