Plus, Mulnomah County's family shelter is turning away families and cousins aren't always a conflct of interest

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Commissioner EudalyOn Saturday, local freelance reporter Mike Bivins reposted a slew of screen shots on Twitter that Portland city Commissioner Chloe Eudaly had posted on her personal Facebook page. In them, she trashed some local reporters and newspapers by name, and local media in general.

In blunt terms, Eudaly questioned the accuracy of an Oregonian article that ran Friday about plans for an expanded communications office at the Bureau of Development Services, and called the former daily newspaper "irrelevant, so who cares, I guess."

Eudaly's posts also attacked the Pulitzer-Prize-winning Willamette Week, claiming the paper is engaged in a "relentless pursuit of clicks and controversy." Other subjects of her criticism included the BBC, a piece by OPB, various local activists and a neighborhood association leader.

Bivins' tweets went viral, with wags likening Eudaly to President Donald Trump, Lars Larson, and Che Guevara. Eudaly then attacked those who shared her "personal" posts, saying it lacked class and was unprofessional. She obtained a measure of redress when The Oregonian corrected several misstatements in the BDS article.

Family shelter overcrowded

The day after the Multnomah County Commission voted to sell the never-opened 525-bed Wapato Jail instead of using it as a homeless shelter, news broke that the county-supported family shelter has been seriously overcrowded for two weeks.

The commission voted last Thursday to sell the North Portland facility to Kehoe Northwest Properties for a medical-related distribution facility, over the objections of county Commissioner Loretta Smith, who unsuccessfully argued it should be used as a homeless shelter and service center.

The next day, Willamette Week reported the Human Solutions Family Shelter, which the county helped fund, stopped allowing additional families to stay there roughly two weeks before. The day of the commssion vote, 39 familes were on a waiting list for admission.

Also last Friday, the Joint Office of Homeless Services announced that Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler would be calling landlords to ask them to find housing for homeless families in shelters. Kafoury has opposed using Wapato for the homeless.

Nothing to see here

Some of those who opposed Multnomah County's decision to sell the Wapato Jail were surprised to find that a cousin of Chair Deborah Kafoury is an executive at the commercial real estate firm brokering the transaction.

Trevor Kafoury is executive vice president of CBRE's Portland office, which was retained by the county in May to sell the jail and other surplus county properties. Although the office will receive a large commission if the proposed $10.8 million sale goes through, that is not a conflict of interest that needed to be declared.

According to county communications director Julie Sullivan-Springhetti, Kafoury was not involved in the selection of CBRE, and county policy and Oregon ethics law do not include cousins within the definition of "relative" for declaring potential conflicts unless an elected official or their spouse is providing or receiving support from the cousin.

Deborah Kafoury is a member of a politically active family with many relatives in the area.

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