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Molalla city councilor convicted of lying in voters' pamphlet

PEGGY SAVAGE - George Pottle Molalla City Council President George Pottle was convicted Friday in Clackamas County Circuit Court of violating Oregon election laws by knowingly making a false statement in the 2014 Voters’ Pamphlet.

Pottle, 60, pleaded guilty to lying about his educational background in his voters' pamphlet statement. He was sentenced to 18 months probation, fined $1,500 and required to do 80 hours of community service.

When asked Monday morning if he would offer his resignation as a city councilor, Pottle gave this statement: “I would like to apologize to the citizens of Molalla for my mistake on the 2014 Voters’ Pamphlet. I am making restitution as prescribed by law, and I would like to complete my term of service to the citizens of Molalla.”

In the voters’ pamphlet, Pottle stated: “I proudly served as a Flight Engineer from 1973 to 1993 with a Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering for the United States Air Force.”

He also listed “United State Air Force, Aerospace Engineering, Master Degree” under educational background.

Oregon Department of Justice attorney Patrick Flanagan said Pottle had not earned a master's degree.

The matter was brought to the attention of the Clackamas County Elections Division via a written complaint from Donald Stewart, of Oregon City, who stated in the complaint: “I would like to file a complaint against George Pottle, who on page 3-22 of the voters pamphlet claims to have a masters degree. Mr. Pottle not only does not have a master’s degree, he has no college degree of any kind. Mr. Pottle has a history of lying about his past, and is well known for his claim to be a Vietnam Veteran, which is also a fabrication,” Stewart wrote in the complaint.

Stewart attached a copy of Pottle’s DD214, which he said clearly disputed Pottle’s claims.

The DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, is a United States Department of Defense document issued upon a military service member's retirement, separation, or discharge from active-duty military.

“Pottle said he had a masters degree, and he barely made it through high school,” Stewart said Monday. “He claims to be a Viet Nam veteran, and he was never in Viet Nam. That is stolen valor.

“He has spoken in front of school groups claiming that, but he was never in Viet Nam, and his DD 213 shows that he was never in Viet Nam or in any war zone.”

Pottle was elected to the Molalla City Council in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

He gave this statement in the voters’ pamphlet: “I believe integrity, honesty, education and listening to community needs are vital keys to building a firm foundation for Molalla to keep growing and moving forward.”

When asked Monday if Pottle would be requested to tender his resignation from the Molalla City Council, Mayor Debbie Rogge said she has “no comment at this time.”