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Ethics panel finds fault with Gold Hill official's vehicle use

GOLD HILL - The state ethics commission has issued a preliminary finding that says Gold Hill's public works director misused a city vehicle.

The Oregon Government Standards and Practices Commission ruled that Royal Gasso illegally drove his public vehicle for personal use on three occasions in the last year.

Gasso said this week that he would contest the preliminary ruling. He also said at a City Council meeting Monday that he'd been working with an attorney and would request city reimbursement for his legal expenses.

Recalled City Council member Kathleen Price filed the complaint with the commission in May, saying Gasso had driven the vehicle when he was not working.

City officials have said Gasso had permission to use the vehicle for commuting, while he was working and also for emergencies.

Gasso can contest the ruling, settle with the city or take the matter to trial, said Ronald Bersin, executive director for the ethics commission.

Price was not immediately available.

- Buffy Pollock