Hey, we can call it appraisalgate

Commissioner Randy Leonard will have another chance to beat up the Portland Development Commission over its controversial handling of the Southwest Third and Oak property Wednesday - and this time the PDC will have no one to blame but itself.

PDC board Chairman Mark Rosenbaum already has admitted the agency no longer agrees with the appraisal it obtained of the property that set its value at a negative-$1.9 million.

Leonard introduced a resolution weeks ago to subpoena all PDC records on the property. Although Rosenbaum claims the PDC now has released all the documents to the council, the resolution is coming back to the council Wednesday.

This time Leonard has reviewed hundreds of internal e-mails about the property - including some from PDC employee who question how and why the negative appraisal came about, according to Leonard.

Expect the combative commissioner to demand to know more about internal PDC discussions leading up to the appraisal, including those that may not have been committed to writing.

What's next? An Adams altar?

It wasn't quite the Church of Elvis, but the Shrine of Sam made quite a sight in City Hall.

The shrine first appeared in the lobby of Commissioner Randy Leonard's office several weeks ago. At first it was composed of more than a dozen photos of fellow Commissioner Sam Adams at various public functions. Then a large painted portrait of Adams popped up on the wall.

Now the smaller pictures have vanished, but the portrait remains. Turns out the shrine started when Leonard and his staff, who snuck into Adams' adjoining office one evening through a common door, pilfered the photos.

Then someone - Leonard won't say who - showed up with the portrait. Adams or his staff then sneaked into Leonard's office and took back the pictures but left the portrait, leaving some first-time visitors wondering whether they've entered the wrong office.

Making enemies in the right places

Robert McCullough, the Portland energy consultant who has been among the biggest thorns in the side of Enron Corp., passed along a bit of shameless Tribune promotion - from an unlikely source: Enron itself.

The context: McCullough's been working for the Snohomish Public Utility District in the state of Washington, and the district has been trying to recover some of Enron's ill-gotten gains using an administrative proceeding in front of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in Washington, D.C.

In an attempt to block a Snohomish request for documents, Enron recently filed a brief in D.C. that argues the company already has produced enough documents to McCullough and his ilk, saying: 'In fact, Snohomish and its agents have been keen to boast of their litigation library to the media. A newspaper article from January of this year focusing on Snohomish witness Robert McCullough describes McCullough as possessing 'rows of dark minimonoliths, computer servers packed with evidence.' '

As McCullough told the Tribune, 'You are now considered a significant source for white-collar criminals.'

- Tribune staff

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