Patridge to lead liquor board on interim basis

Medford resident Rob Patridge has been selected interim chairman of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

The commission voted, 4-0, in favor of Patridge, who will serve until a permanent chair is named by the governor.

The previous chair, Cassandra Skinner of Eugene, stepped down.

"I'm honored to be chosen by my fellow commissioners to be chair," Patridge said.

He said it would be up to Gov. John Kitzhaber to decide whether he wants him to serve as chair permanently. The governor will select a replacement commissioner to fill the seat formerly held by Skinner.

In April, the governor named 44-year-old Patridge as Klamath County District Attorney after the former district attorney stepped down.

Patridge is a former Medford City Council member and state representative who worked as a deputy district attorney in Jackson County for three years in the 1990s.

He was general counsel for Pacific Retirement Services, parent company of Rogue Valley Manor, and district director for Congressman Greg Walden.

Patridge joined the five-member OLCC board in 2012.

In June, Patridge joined with the majority in rejecting an additional 25-cent-a-bottle surcharge on the price of distilled spirits.

Patridge said he looks forward to guiding the OLCC through a period of change, with many staff members taking retirement, and the OLCC looking ahead to times of economic growth.

"We're the third largest revenue producer in the state behind the lottery and general revenue dollars," he said.

Patridge said that as interim chair he expects to have considerable outreach to liquor agents, the liquor industry and citizens in the state.

The OLCC often meets by way of teleconference, but every two months it meets at a location near Portland.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@mailtribune.com.


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