PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan has voluntarily recused herself from an Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission audit on the cannabis industry after citing plans to consult Veriede Holding, LLC, an affiliate of La Mota, her office confirmed to KOIN 6 News.
In a February 15 letter to her staff, Fagan stated, “I do not believe a real conflict exists because any action required would be taken by the legislature or OLCC and any benefit could flow to all cannabis companies in Oregon, not this specific company.”
The secretary added that she recused herself to avoid potential conflict of interest, her office said in a statement, which was first reported by Willamette Week.
The OLCC audit, approvals and follow-ups will be overseen by Deputy Secretary Cheryl Myers, Fagan said.
The announcement of the recusal comes as a recent KOIN 6 News investigation found La Mota owns an abandoned squatter house in Portland.
According to state campaign finance records, one of La Mota’s co-founders, Aaron Mitchell, donated at least $45,000 to Fagan’s campaign, including two donations after she had already taken office.
According to the Secretary of State’s Office, the consulting contract began on Feb. 20, 2023, for projects that take place outside of Oregon.
Her office said she “explicitly incorporated” the Oregon Government Ethics Commission guidelines into the contract, which includes restrictions on a public official from using their position for additional personal income for the company.