<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Wirth rescinds pay raises for staff and mother

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wirth rescinds pay raises for staff and mother

Former Oregon state legislator Kelley Wirth has rescinded the pay raises she gave her staff, her mother, and a friend. Wirth's resignation was effective November 15, but she had authorized pay increases for her staff - including raising her mother's salary from $3,500 to $6,500 - effective November 1. Public pressure apparently made her change her mind.

β€œIt is out of my respect for the trust the public placed in me, my fellow legislators, and the Governor that I have decided to make this my final legislative action,” Wirth wrote in a memo to the state legislature. β€œI thank everyone who has extended me understanding and compassion, and will forever be grateful for the legislative work I was able to do on behalf of our great state of Oregon.”

Wirth said she resigned because of personal and legal challenges stemming from a car crash and a drug possession charge. Or was it personal challenges that led to the legal challenges? Wirth's story would make a good Lifetime movie...

Here's the full text of her memo:

"I am officially rescinding the pay raises given to my staff Kathleen Panknin and Melissa White. I am also terminating their positions effective Nov. 15, 2005. I insisted on compensating Marti Barlow for her public relations and media work after Oct. 31, but she refused further payment, and has graciously stayed on as my volunteer spokesperson. Due to the disabling, painful physical injuries I incurred from the violent attempt on my life, I was unable to handle all the media calls and information requests, while finishing some final projects on behalf of my local constituents, without the help of additional staff. Even though I still believe my former staff deserved to be rewarded for their hard work, I must listen to my former constituents and the Oregon taxpayers who gave me the opportunity and honor to serve them in the first place for almost three terms. It is out of my respect for the trust the public placed in me, my fellow legislators, and the Governor that I have decided to make this my final legislative action. I thank everyone who has extended me understanding and compassion, and will forever be grateful for the legislative work I was able to do on behalf of our great state of Oregon."

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