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States helpful attitude gives us a glow

Sources Say

If local hospitals have a morale issue or a thorny potential lawsuit, the state agency that regulates them is there to help.

In the wake of a Dec. 4 Portland Tribune article reporting federal scrutiny of Legacy Emanuel Hospital over the death of Glenn Shipman Jr., records obtained by Sources Say show that state Department of Human Services health care licensing manager Ron Prinslow immediately fired off a note to his boss expressing concern that statements attributed to him in the article 'could harm my needed relationships with … hospital providers.'

He claimed that some of the information did not come from him, and he questioned how his words were paraphrased - though he said the article was 'basically true' and 'the information is basically correct.'

Sources Say has noticed that such reactions are common when people later realize they were a little too honest with a reporter. And by all appearances, Prinslow is a conscientious public servant. What happened next, however, was interesting.

Told of Prinslow's reaction, top Legacy officials requested that the department send a formal letter of complaint to the Tribune to help with the hospital's 'internal morale issues.'

Internal department e-mails show one state official suspected another motive: Legacy wanted help with 'potential legal issues' - in other words, a lawsuit by Shipman's family.

In the end, top state health officials wrote the letter for Prinslow; it claimed unspecified 'inaccuracies.'

Asked by the Portland Tribune to detail the inaccuracies so they could be corrected, the state did not respond. The letter was hand-delivered to Legacy and circulated widely there before arriving at the Tribune.

Praise can't get much fainter

Don't expect Mayor Tom Potter to endorse city Commissioner Sam Adams to succeed him.

It's no secret that the mayor has questioned Adams' willingness to play politics in a way that Potter himself considers pushing the line of propriety.

Adams, for instance, once said that vote-trading is not uncommon at City Hall, while Potter for the most part has refused to engage in it.

Asked recently if he thinks Adams would be a good mayor, Potter said: 'I really don't know. … I really don't know how to answer that question.'

As for his take on Adams' ethics, Potter again did not directly answer the question, instead saying, 'I've never seen Sam do anything that is illegal or contrary to good public' - and here he paused - 'law.'

Told of the mayor's statement, Adams said Potter never has raised ethical concerns to him. Both men noted that while they have clashed at times, they have also agreed on some issues.

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