Ethics watchdog: OR Secretary of State can’t hire son


Bev Clarno appointed her son to a volunteer role

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Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno, 2019

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon’s ethics watchdog says Secretary of State Bev Clarno cannot hire her son, or any other family member, to work for her office without running afoul of the state’s conflict of interest law.

The Statesman Journal report s the Oregon Government Ethics Commission released the advisory opinion in advance of the commission’s meeting on Thursday.

Questions of nepotism arose after Clarno appointed her son, Randy Hilderbrand, to a volunteer role when she took over the office. Gov. Kate Brown appointed Clarno, a Republican and former state lawmaker, to replace Dennis Richardson, who died in February of brain cancer.

Rich Vial, a spokesman for the office, said Hilderbrand has never worked for the office other than as a volunteer.

The request came from Tasha Petersen, the Secretary of State’s human resources director, who asked for the commission’s guidance regarding nepotism.

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