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Ex-Logos head faces $5,500 fine for ethics violations

A state ethics commission will decide Friday whether to fine the former executive director of Logos Public Charter School $5,500 for violating ethics laws when he signed a $1.5 million contract with the school a month after he had resigned.

Joe VonDoloski, who said in May he would challenge the Oregon Government Ethics Commission’s “one-sided” findings of 22 violations of ethics laws, agreed to the $5,500 fine recommended by commission staff. His signature indicates he will not challenge the findings or fine going forward.

The five-member commission will have final say over the amount VonDoloski will be fined when it meets Friday in Salem.

VonDoloski did not respond to two requests for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Oregon statutes permit the Ethics Commission to fine VonDoloski up to $110,000. But Executive Director Ron Bersin said additional Oregon administrative rules stipulate that the commission use a point system to determine the amount of the fine.

“The rule says you need to go further in there to kind of look at what you have said you would look at as an agency,” Bersin said. That includes whether the public official in question cooperated with the investigation, paid restitution or financially benefited from violations.

Logos terminated its contract with VonDoloski’s consulting company, which was the pivotal interaction with its former director that triggered a Medford School District’s complaint to the ethics commission in October.

VonDoloski’s company, Western Collegiate Consulting, won a $1.5 million contract with Logos a month after he resigned as the school’s executive director. The school contracted with Western Collegiate to provide employee management services, overseeing payroll and benefits distribution.

Six months into its investigation, the commission concluded in May that VonDoloski had violated ethics law in 22 instances.

Those violations included using Logos’ time and resources to revive Western Collegiate, which had dissolved in 2016. The commission said VonDoloski purchased insurance services, business cards and a domain name while acting as the school’s executive director and researched how to avoid labor requirements and prevailing wage laws.

Julie Niles-Fry, Logos’ marketing director, said the school is looking forward and not back.

“Logos has moved beyond this,” she said. “Joe’s past is his own past.”

Logos, which serves home-schooled students by providing on-campus and online classes and instructional support, recently broke ground on a new building. Located at the corner of Ross Lane and Rossanley Drive, the new building is expected to be ready for students by fall 2019, said Sheryl Zimmerer, who became executive director in June 2017.

Logos has had one of the highest graduation rates in Jackson County in recent years and was named to U.S. News and World Report’s list of top high schools in the nation in May.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

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