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Breidenthal criticized for personal emails

Two Jackson County commissioners have objected to Commissioner Doug Breidenthal sending his written response to an ethics probe to their personal email accounts.

Commissioner Colleen Roberts said she received emails last week from Breidenthal's wife's account to her personal email.

The emails detailed Breidenthal's response to an ethics complaint filed by Jackson County on Oct. 22 related to his travel expenses and contributions he received to an Association of Oregon Counties account. He also described his version of events during a tense meeting he had with county administrative staff before the complaint was filed.

Commissioner Rick Dyer said he received the same information to his personal email.

"I was concerned about the material in the email I received," Dyer said. "I was not comfortable with receiving mail in my private email account."

Roberts and Dyer said Breidenthal should have used his official county email account and sent the information to their official accounts as well. Those accounts are subject to public disclosure laws.

"It's not appropriate to use my personal email for what is county business," Dyer said, noting he is diligent about conducting county business using his county email and keeping his personal email account for his personal life.

Breidenthal said he sent the information to his fellow commissioners because he was releasing it publicly to media sources.

"It was giving you a head's up on what was being given to the news so no one was blindsided," Breidenthal said.

The Mail Tribune received the information via Breidenthal's wife's email account on Friday.

"I decided to go public on my version of what happened," Breidenthal said.

He said he sent the information via a personal account because the information "was not the property of the county."

Roberts said she was also disturbed that the emails from Breidenthal's wife's account asked her not to share the information she had received.

Breidenthal said he included a message to the other commissioners not to respond to the emails or forward them.

"It wasn't secret. It was all going to the media," he said.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.