Ethics commission investigates state Rep. Knute Buehler

State Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, whose name has been floated as a gubernatorial candidate, failed to disclose a payment from a Bend hospital, according to a preliminary report from a state ethics investigation.

Buehler received a $12,500 payment in 2013 for serving on the board of the St. Charles Health System, and failed to report that fact in the Statement of Economic Interest that all elected officials are required to submit under Oregon law, the report said.

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission investigated following a complaint the Democratic Party of Oregon filed against Buehler in April. The Democrats claimed he failed to report three payments, including the hospital payment. The other two payments investigated included $96,000 from Stryker Corp., a Michigan-based company that makes medical devices, and a $1,000 payment from Pfizer pharmaceutical company. A preliminary report said the Stryker payment didn't have to be reported because it went to a company Buehler owns, Buehler Research and Design, and not to Buehler himself. The Pfizer payment was a campaign finance payment, and was reported as such, according to the report.

Buehler has said his failure to report the 2013 payment from the St. Charles Health System was "inadvertent," according to the Bend Bulletin.

Buehler was a star athlete at Roseburg High School, where he played on the school's 1981 state champion football team, and went on to play baseball at Oregon State University before becoming the school's first Rhodes Scholar. He is an orthopedic surgeon at the Center for Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care and Research in Bend.

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