PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Concerns of corruption within Oregon’s prison were so pressing during the 1980s that it spurred two former governors to act — and with possibly fatal results, according to some conspiracy theorists.
A 1986 Oregon State Police memo found that certain leaders at the Department of Corrections fostered a culture that resulted in a detrimental “power structure and mismanagement.” The names of the leaders, who had retired prior to the memo’s existence, have still not been released to this day.
The memo, which was written during former Gov. Vic Atoyeh’s term, reverberated through the remainder of the decade, when Neil Goldschmidt became Oregon’s governor.
Goldschmidt then tapped Michael Francke, a reformer, to lead the state’s troubled prison system. Francke was found stabbed to death outside of the Dome Building in Salem, which still houses the Department of Corrections, on Jan. 17, 1989 in what investigators said was a car robbery gone wrong.
The man convicted of brutally stabbing Francke to death, Frank Gable, was recently ordered released from prison by a federal judge pending a new trial by Oregon prosecutors.
Read the 1986 Oregon State Police memo on the corruption they found within the state’s prison system below: