PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – New audio acquired by KOIN 6 shows a commissioner inquiring about an investigation into Clackamas County’s decision around Project Turnkey.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to return the money the state granted them for purchasing a 100-room motel and declared the county’s future strategy in addressing homelessness.

About two weeks ago, at the end of a land-use hearing, Clackamas County Board Chair Tootie Smith declared an emergency meeting – reversing her vote on the purchase of a hotel on Sunnyside Road near I-205.

The plan had been to turn it into a transitional housing facility.

KOIN 6 has obtained audio of what happened in the few moments between those meetings, where Smith says there’s been a leak and Commissioner Ben West mentions an investigation.

West: “What did the governor say? Is she pissed?”

Smith: “Somebody leaked.”


West: “We might have to do an investigation.”

KOIN 6 asked West what he meant by that investigation, but he said he couldn’t speak to it.

According to Oregon public meeting laws, how the emergency meeting was declared may result in a violation because no notice of the meeting had been made ahead of time.

KOIN 6 wants to know if there was a leak, when was it? If there was time for someone to alert Gov. Tina Kotek, why was there not enough time to notice a public meeting?

According to a First Amendment and Sunshine Law attorney, the county didn’t fulfill its obligation for a public notice — making the claim of an emergency questionable.

The governor’s office has yet to comment.

Commissioners also voted to turn over the money the state granted them to buy the hotel. Last week, commissioners voted to withhold this money to try and leverage who will buy the hotel. Commissioner Paul Savas said it’s likely an organization is going to buy it and turn it into a shelter for people who are homeless anyway.

The board also voted for a new path forward to respond to addiction, mental health and homelessness to become “recovery-oriented.”

Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.