One applicant notorious in Oregon for false claims made over the years

by: SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: KATIE WILSON - New Scappoose City Councilor Barbara Hayden is sworn in by Municipal Court Judge Nicholas Wood.The Scappoose City Planning Commission may have lost a daughter, but the budget committee has gained a son.

Barbara Hayden, an alternate with the Planning Commission whose term was set to expire in 2015, was appointed to fill a vacancy on the City Council at a meeting Jan. 14. Hayden is also president of the Scappoose Historical Society and said with the added duties of a city councilor she will have to resign from the Planning Commission.

Hayden fills a seat on the council left vacant after former City Councilor Judie Ingham announced her resignation in December.

Scappoose resident Mitch Nielson also applied for the city councilor job, and received two votes from the council, but ultimately lost to Hayden who received three votes and Mayor Scott Burge’s vote. Burge said he had decided not to vote until councilors had voted and he would go with the applicant who had the most support from the council. In this case, that applicant was Hayden.

However, Burge approached Nielson afterwards and asked if he would serve on the budget committee. Nielson said he would.

Five Scappoose residents had applied for the vacant council seat, but by the time of the Jan. 14 meeting, only three remained. In addition to Hayden and Nielson, the City Council also interviewed another man: Craig Marquardo.

Marquardo is notorious in Oregon for a variety of reportedly false claims he has made over the years. Among other stories, he has said he would bring Major League Baseball to Portland (he didn’t), that he played Major League Baseball, sang backup for Sting and received a Purple Heart for his military service in Desert Storm operations.

In 2006, he was convicted of election fraud when he listed a previous job as senior vice president of distribution for Warner Bros., on a candidate filing form for the Hood River Port Commission. There was no record that he ever worked for Warner Bros. During a hearing in this case, he also admitted he had lied about being a Desert Storm veteran.

City Manager Jon Hanken said he informed the City Council about Marquardo because of concerns arising from the election fraud conviction.

“They need to be aware,” Hanken said, but added, “How they make their decision from that, that’s for them to decide.”

None of the city councilors voted for Marquardo. But he is still involved with the city.

Marquardo, who describes himself as a celebrity talent manager, currently serves on the Scappoose Transportation Advisory Committee which is tasked with examining how transportation will work and develop in Scappoose over the coming years.

The first meeting he attended and participated in was stormy, said City Councilor Donna Gedlich, who is also a member of the committee. She said he dominated the discussion and questioned her knowledge of the agenda.

Burge said it isn’t clear if this is just a part of the process for the committee, as they learn how to communicate and work together, or a larger problem centering around Marquardo himself.

“I will have to sit down and talk with Jon [Hanken] about it,” he said.

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