Under the benign sounding headline, “Details Surface …,” the Zero (here) finally gets answers to a few of the questions we allllll wondered when Oregon Attorney General John Kroger’s chief environmental lawyer, Brent Foster, up and quit. It’s alleged Foster phonied up a water sample which led to the arrest of an Oregon business owner. It also being investigated whether Foster got others to lie for him.
Despite Mexican drug gangs growing dope with impunity in Oregon forests and hinterlands, kidnappings an every day occurrence by drug lords in Oregon, Kroger ran for office vowing to make environmental scofflaws his chief target. One of his first hires was Brent Foster, head of the far left environmental group, Columbia Riverkeeper.
Columbia Riverkeeper is an influential environmental group in Oregon. It helps set the political tone and choose the environmental targets. It currently is drumming up opposition to the Liquified Natural Gas outlets in Oregon and is opposed to hydroelectric power. It also has a few dodgy friends.
Here’s what NW Republican discovered about Columbia Riverkeeper and its “friends” back in 2008 two months BEFORE Kroger hired Foster,
SHAC 7 maintains a “MySpace” page to recruiting support from the general public. Columbia Riverkeeper includes, on its own MySpace site (under the “Friends” tab), a direct and active link to a site entitled “SHAC 7.” This site is a MySpace page devoted to generating support for the aforementioned convicted felons known as “SHAC 7.”
A MySpace subscriber may “block” any “friend” from its site, therefore, if Columbia Riverkeepers is aware that SHAC 7 has “signed up” as one of its “friends,” Columbia Riverkeepers has consciously determined not to block its own supporters’ access to the SHAC 7 site, and is thus tacitly lending its support to SHAC 7’s message.
For instance take a look at some of the names of the convicted eco-terrorists. Then trot on over the the Columbia Riverkeepers “myspace” website. Notice who their “friends” are? I won’t run through all of them but just for example notice “Andy.” Click the link and you see that it is the same Andrew Stepanian who was convicted of terrorism.
Plucking an unabashed environmental activist/lawyer for one of Kroger’s top posts in an area he made his top priority raised more than a few eyebrows. Kroger was asking for trouble and he got it: Foster now admits to drawing what could be a phonied up water sample and lying about it. “Authorities” are also looking into whether he got others to cover it up for him.
Hood River Juice company became suspect when fruit juice was detected in a mud puddle across the street from its headquarters:
Court records and interviews indicate the latest case against Hood River Juice started in September when an irrigation district employee reported a small puddle that smelled of rotting fruit in a pothole across the street from the company
The water sample resulted in an Oregon juice company chief being handcuffed, arrested and tried for “polluting” mud puddles with fruit juice outside his company. Let me repeat: A man was deprived of his liberty and accused of a crime when radical environmental activists phonied up evidence against him–evidence which the state used in court. Clear enough?
Turns out, there were two problems with that evidence, new court records indicate: The sample collection, including unsterile bottles and no custody seal, was flawed.
And then the evidence that the attorney and others with him at the time knew it was phonied up?
…the person who took the sample actually wasn’t water-quality specialist Rachael Pecore of Columbia Riverkeeper, as asserted in an affidavit justifying the search. It was Brent Foster, then one of Attorney General John Kroger’s top aides at Oregon’s Department of Justice.
The person who was there from Columbia Riverkeeper has now disavowed the sample (after being caught up in the scandal):
On April 12, Pecore sent an e-mail to prosecutors saying she couldn’t “testify in good conscience” on the accuracy of the sample because of protocol problems. She said she had “never seen a pH sample that high.”
She’d never seen a pH sample that high? It turns out the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality hadn’t either because when they went to take their own sample just a couple days later they couldn’t replicate the sample. Notice below how THAT information never quite made it into the complaint against the Hood River Juice Company:
On the evening of Oct. 9, Foster, Pecore and Brett VandenHeuvel, current Columbia Riverkeeper director, drove to Hood River to sample the water. VandenHeuvel said he stayed in the car.
Foster took the sample, and it appears Pecore ran the analysis. It showed a pH level high enough to be classified as hazardous waste, perhaps related to the presence of chlorine cleaning solution. A subsequent DEQ analysis also found high pH in that sample.
Three days later, the DEQ took its own samples. Those showed no elevated pH, but the Oct. 22 search warrant affidavit did not reflect those results. (emphasis added)
Perhaps there’s a problem with the Columbia Riverkeeper’s training (here).
But there are even bigger questions to be answered now: what other cases did Foster phony up or cheat on to make a case? How often did it occur as the head of Columbia Riverkeeper? And to what extent have Oregon officials relied upon environmental radicals to gather “evidence” for them? How did this far left group attain so much influence with the state?
***UPDATE*** The folks bringing you LNG say there’s even MORE to this, equating it as Oregon’s watergate (here). Excerpt:
In a related story, Jim Welsh, editor and publisher of Tillamook’s MooCountyNews, drew comparisons between Foster’s latest actions and Watergate, based on his review of the information obtained by Bartoldus. These disclosed documents reveal a disturbing pattern of behavior. But the most troubling aspect so far is the Attorney General’s decision to withhold at least 69 additional emails from the reporter. Oregon’s Watergate?
Bradwood is on record expressing concerns about Foster’s potential ethical conflicts. Yet in a February 24, 2010 Willamette Week article, Attorney General Kroger described Bradwood’s complaints as “frivolous,” saying, “Brent is one of the very best environmental lawyers in the state, and I hired him to work on issues like [LNG]” Later in the article, Kroger characterized Bradwood’s “discontent” as a “sideshow”. Willamette Week: Gas Attack