In addition to nepotism involving hiring and supervision of friends and family of managers in the department, state Human Resources investigators uncovered some other interesting facts:
Investigators found that in 2014, the grants unit spent at least $8,700 to purchase three bicycles and accessories for Rocky Houston and two other employees to use as part of their work.
Those are some darned expensive bikes; top-of-the-line, carbon-fiber, although they did show some fiscal restraint - they purchased rental bikes for the public to ride from Sears. Rather surprisingly, considering the level of corruption among state officials, at least a couple of folks lost their jobs in the aftermath:
The problems prompted agency Director Lisa Sumption to fire a manager and seek the resignation of an assistant director who oversaw the program, although a lower-level employee at the center of some of the issues continues to work for the department.
Steve Kay, manager of the grants division, was fired on May 15, four months after he was placed on paid administrative leave. Kay’s boss, assistant director Roger Roper, abruptly resigned in January after Sumption asked him to step down.
Of course, Sumption herself isn't exactly squeaky clean in the nepotism department:
Nepotism has been a topic of discussion for years among employees at the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, where the family members who worked together included Sumption, her sister-in-law and her cousin. The sister-in-law, Tasha Petersen, was the agency’s human resources director until Sumption was promoted to director in early 2014, and Sumption’s cousin, Jodi Woiderski, also worked in human resources. Woiderski transferred to a different agency in September 2013 and Petersen was transferred to a different agency roughly a month after Sumption, who has worked at the agency since 2007, was appointed as director in February 2014.
One might guess that Lisa took a dislike to Steve and Roger, and started looking for ways to force them out of the agency. That's a pretty common occurrence among managers at all levels of "public service" in Oregon. Certainly, Lisa's behavior didn't appear to differ in any substantive way from from that of Steve and Roger. That's not to condone the behavior of any of the trio; nepotism in any public agency should never be tolerated, but it is very common in Oregon.