PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — A Multnomah County employee overseeing a rent assistance program pushed a partner agency to give $10,000 to a renter, but didn’t disclose that they were the renter’s landlord or relative, an investigation from the Multnomah County Auditor’s Office found.
The $10,000 would have gone to the county employee to cover their relative’s past due and current rent payments.
The employee, who is not named in the report and no longer works for the county, had already received $10,000 in June 2021 from the same partner agency. The county employee signed that application as the landlord, but did not disclose the relationship at the time, according to the auditor’s report.
“The employee had oversight responsibility for the rent assistance program, and over the contract with the partner agency, and did not disclose the family relationship or the conflict of interest to either the county or the agency,” the report found.
The relative made another request for a $10,000 payment to their landlord in April 2022, less than a year later. The agency distributing rental assistance funds “informed us that they had worked with the client in the past, and had decided not to provide services to the client, based on the client’s lack of participation in its programs,” the auditor’s report said. But the relative “continued to pursue the assistance” and the county employee “used their county relationship with the agency to advocate for benefits for the client.”
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