- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon Department of Justice report says the state’s former top bureaucrat, Michael Jordan, never asked a state technology manager to delete messages in former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s email account.

Michael Rodgers has said he gave digital copies of 6,000 Kitzhaber emails to Willamette Week because they were public records and he feared they would be deleted.

The Oregonian reports (https://bit.ly/1elHwG3 ) that the Justice Department report says Rodgers at one point claimed to a personnel manager that Jordan told him to delete Kitzhaber’s emails. A human resources official from the Oregon Department of Transportation was called in to investigate whether Jordan gave that order.

During the investigation, Rodgers said Jordan never gave the order but he feared the emails would eventually be deleted.

“Michael Rodgers was forthcoming and truthful during the employment investigation by the Department of Justice, and he stands by the statements he made,” Matthew McHenry, a lawyer for Rodgers, said in a statement. “He neither misrepresented the facts nor misled investigators. Because his employment status is still unresolved, we cannot comment further at this time.”

Two district attorneys have announced that they won’t file charges against Rodgers, who remains on leave from the Department of Administrative Services amid a separate investigation. The second investigation concerns efforts by Rodgers and another technology manager to secure computers and cellphones that might contain evidence against Kitzhaber.

Jordan, who on March 5 announced he would resign from state service, recently took a job with the city of Portland. Jordan initiated the personnel investigation on Feb. 11. The state released only a seven-page summary of its findings and several supporting documents, showing that Jordan denied directing that emails be destroyed.

There are no other indications that Rodgers ever accused Jordan of directing him to destroy emails. A Feb. 20 email sent by a fellow manager of Rodgers shows that he and other data warehouse managers were instead concerned that Jordan eventually would cave and allow public records to be destroyed.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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