Marion Co. Dist. Attorney's Office
Woman convicted of Manslaughter, Assault, and DUII after driving wrong-way on I-5 in November 2014 - 06/12/15
Earlier today, before the Honorable David E. Leith, Audrey Maria Blivens, 49, pleaded guilty and was sentenced for the following crimes: manslaughter in the first degree, assault in the second degree, assault in the third degree, and driving under the influence of intoxicants. Judge Leith sentenced defendant to 156 months in Department of Corrections and 36 months of post-prison supervision.
According to an Oregon State Police investigation, on November 25, 2014, at approximately 2:50am, defendant drove her vehicle the wrong way on Interstate 5. Defendant crashed head-on into a vehicle driven by Juan Ledesma and occupied by Deana Deleon and a 7-year old passenger. Ms. Blivens caused the death of Deana Deleon, injured Juan Ledesma, and injured the 7-year old passenger. The victims were traveling for the Thanksgiving holiday when their vehicle was struck.
Victim's Family Comments on DOJ Report - 06/05/15
To: All Media
From: Sister of Cody Myers, Brittany Klein*
RE: Oregon DOJ Advisory Review
The sister of Cody Myers, Brittany Klein, makes the following statement regarding the Oregon DOJ Advisory Review Report:
I have reviewed the Oregon DOJ Advisory Review Report regarding the Oregon State Police.
While it is evident that mistakes were made during the investigation, I still believe that Law Enforcement personnel worked diligently to do their jobs and had only the best of intentions. It should not be overlooked that the individuals ultimately responsible for this case are the two people who murdered Cody. Joey Pedersen and Holly Grigsby have been held accountable for their actions and for that we are grateful.
No further information is available. Please respect the family's privacy as no further comments to the media will be forthcoming.
*The Marion County District Attorney's Office has merely facilitated this release as part of on-going victim services to the family at their request.
District Attorneys Announce Prosecutorial Decision Regarding Michael Rodgers - 06/03/15
To: All Media
From: Walt Beglau, Marion County District Attorney
Brad Berry, Yamhill County District Attorney
The Marion County District Attorney and the Yamhill County District Attorney have completed their assessment of any potential criminal charges against Michael Rodgers. A review of the thorough investigation conducted by the Oregon State Police, revealed the following:
Rodgers is employed with the State of Oregon as the Deputy Administrator of Enterprise Technology Services in the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). At the time of the printing of a Willamette Week Article titled, "What He Left Behind" on February 18, 2015, which referenced emails of then Governor Kitzhaber that were not authorized for release, Rodgers was the acting Administrator of his department. As part of his duties as Administrator, Rodgers was contacted in an email chain that began on February 5, 2015. That email referenced a request from the Governor's office to remove personal emails from the state server. Rodgers went to then DAS director, Michael Jordan, to discuss the request and Jordan noted a need to review the matter further with the Governor's office.
By this time, it was evident that the Governor had two personal email accounts inadvertently forwarded to his state account, a fact discovered during the processing of a valid public records request made by the Oregonian on February 2, 2015, for a log of the Governor's official emails. It was then understood that it was likely that non-public records existed on the state server and would need to be culled prior to any future release of information.
Rodgers was requested by Michael Jordan and Matt Shelby (the DAS communication strategist) to identify and copy all emails from the two identified personal email accounts belonging to the Governor. Rodgers directed a technology engineer to do just that and the emails were delivered to Rodgers on two thumb drives. The emails were then to be delivered to Shelby who would in turn deliver them to the Governor's office. The personal emails were then to be reviewed by the Governor and his staff in two separate checks in order to separate any official emails from those discussing personal matters or privileged state business.
The emails were in fact placed on two thumb drives that were delivered to Rodgers. Instead of delivering them immediately to Shelby, Rodgers copied them all onto his own separate thumb drives. Rodgers did this knowing that the emails were not pending destruction but rather pending further review prior to any possible valid future release. Further, the emails themselves were not removed or deleted from the server. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible to accomplish such a task as the state server is backed-up as a matter of protection in two separate locations. Rodgers should have been aware of these back-up measures as the Administrator of the State's Technology Services.
Rodgers eventually delivered the original email thumb drives to Shelby. He delivered his unauthorized copies to the Willamette Week. Rodgers never admitted or explained this decision to State Police detectives despite having at least two opportunities to do so. To the investigator's knowledge, the only time he has discussed his conduct in full was to defend it to the Willamette Week in a recent article published Wednesday May 27, 2015.
After fully assessing all the facts in this investigation, DA Walt Beglau and DA Brad Berry have formed the opinion that Michael Rodgers violated the law. Specifically, Rodgers released both public and private emails that were previously contained on a State server and preserved as a State Public Record prior to the processing of any valid public records request. In doing so, he exceeded his authority as a public servant and acted independently outside of any governmental processes in place to ensure the proper dissemination of potentially sensitive information. Rodgers did this despite having other options to bring his concerns to the authorities. Additionally, he should have known that the emails themselves were further backed-up on redundant state servers and, contrary to his claim, could not be destroyed.
It is the opinion of DA Walt Beglau and DA Brad Berry that this improper conduct violated state policies and is a violation of the Class C Misdemeanor crime of Official Misconduct in the Second Degree found in ORS 164.405:
A public servant commits the crime of official misconduct in the second degree if the person knowingly violates any statute relating to the office of the person.
Official Misconduct in the Second Degree is punishable by a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $1,250 fine for each violation.
Official Misconduct in the Second Degree is distinguished from Official Misconduct in the First degree, in part, because no intent to gain a personal benefit is required.
The goal of any District Attorney in any case is to obtain a just result. In deciding whether to pursue a criminal case, it is the duty of the District Attorney to consider whether it can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, whether the resource allocation required to do so is appropriate as measured against the offense, and whether a conviction is necessary to obtain justice.
Under the totality of the circumstances in this case and after a thorough review of the above factors, the mutual decision of these two District Attorneys is that justice would not be served by filing criminal charges against Mr. Rogers.
There is no actual "whistle-blower" defense in Oregon criminal statutes. Even so, the conduct of Mr. Rodgers appears precipitated by a perceived rational that stems from extraordinary circumstances seemingly unparalleled in the Oregon political landscape.
The proper venue for any potential criminal charge in this case lies in Marion County, however DA Beglau chose to exercise his discretion to request peer-review from an outside District Attorney. While there is no actual, statutory, or ethical conflict that prohibits Marion County from making a charging decision, DA Beglau's staff does include an employee who is related to former Governor Kitzhaber. As such, and in recognition of the complex nature of this case, DA Beglau determined that it simply made good sense to request the assistance from another District Attorney to ensure sound decision-making and avoid even the appearance of any impropriety. All decisions and communications regarding this matter were made with the collaboration of both District Attorneys.
The reports containing the full investigation may be obtained by making the proper request to the custodian of records at the Oregon State Police.