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OLCC exec Pharo plans to retire in mid-November

Oregon Liquor Control Commission Executive Director Steve Pharo said Tuesday he plans to retire in mid-November.

Pharo, who ran into political trouble with the governor’s office, has been with OLCC for more than 18 years.

“Over the past 18 years, I have treasured my time working at the commission,” Pharo said. “I value OLCC staff for their commitment to state service and excellent work, and I know they will continue to do quality work for the state of Oregon.”

Pharo said he would retire Nov. 16. He began his OLCC career as manager of the commission’s 124,000-square-foot liquor distribution center, and was credited with modernizing the facility and opening a second warehouse.

Under his leadership, the total spirits product selection expanded to nearly 1,900 items available everyday and another 2,000 products available by special order.

Pharo helped streamline liquor licensing and development of a smart phone application for OLCC inspectors to use in the field.

Early this year, Pharo said he was asked to resign by an aide to Gov. John Kitzhaber. Several OLCC employees signed a letter of support for Pharo after the request was made public.