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Another reason not to vote for Ankerberg

Curt Ankerberg’s legal problems continue to mount, giving voters even more reason to reject his bid for a Medford City Council seat.

Back in March, after a U.S. Tax Court judge ruled that Ankerberg, a certified public accountant, had filed fraudulent personal income tax returns three years running, we urged him to drop out of the race for Oregon Senate District 3. He didn’t, he lost in the primary, and then filed for the Ward 1 council seat on the November ballot — his 11th attempt at elective office.

On Friday, the Oregon Board of Accountancy found evidence of fraud, dishonesty and misrepresentation in those same three years of returns — years during which, Ankerberg has said, he suffered from near blindness and water on the brain, making him incapable of keeping accurate, daily records. In a 4-1 vote, the state board found there was sufficient evidence of fraudulent intent when Ankerberg underreported income and improperly claimed deductions in his 2012, 2013 and 2014 tax returns.

The state finding could lead to monetary damages, or Ankerberg’s CPA license could be suspended or revoked. Cases before the board often end in settlements.

Ankerberg has not been convicted of a crime — the IRS action is a civil matter — but what is most concerning to us is that, while the fraud findings involve only his personal tax returns, he prepared tax returns for 180 paying clients during the period when he was allegedly so sick he couldn’t keep track of his own financial records.

Beyond that, Ankerberg is unsuited for public office regardless of his professional wrongdoing. His nasty, personal attacks on people he disagrees with make him unfit to serve in a position that requires the ability to work well with others.

This latest finding should prompt Ankerberg to withdraw from the race for City Council, but we have no expectation that he will. Accordingly, please vote, if you haven’t already, for anyone other than Curt Ankerberg in the race for Ward 1.