Breidenthal probe by DOJ still underway

Whatever happened to the Oregon Department of Justice investigation of former Jackson County Commissioner Doug Breidenthal?

— Barbara C., Ashland

Well, Barbara, if you can believe it, the criminal investigation has been continuing for a year now.

We checked in with Kristina Edmundson, spokeswoman for the Oregon DOJ, to find out what's going on.

She said the Breidenthal investigation is still an open case, but she can't share anything more about it at this time. Generally, Barbara, the DOJ doesn't comment on ongoing investigations.

For a quick overview, the investigation into Breidenthal began when an ethics complaint was filed in 2015 by Jackson County Auditor Eric Spivak with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission, which has suspended its inquiry pending the outcome of the Justice Department investigation, has looked into a number of possible violations of Oregon laws regarding an Association of Oregon Counties' campaign account that Breidenthal initially used to run for an office on the Western Interstate Region, a land-use reform group.

The Ethics Commission started its investigation after a preliminary review found there was "substantial objective basis to believe that violations of Oregon government ethics law may have occurred, and that Mr. Breidenthal may have committed such violations."

Breidenthal has previously said he hasn't committed any crimes.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to To see a collection of columns, go to We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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