Contact: Rachel Wray, 503-689-0294
SALEM — Michael Kaplan, the director of the Oregon Department of Energy, released the following statement in response to an update from the Oregon Department of Justice on an energy tax credit criminal case.
“In 2015, we asked the Department of Justice to conduct an investigation because we needed to know, and Oregonians deserved to know, if anyone at our agency was involved in any wrongdoing. We’ve worked hard to bring full transparency to legacy problems with the energy tax credit programs, but we also recognized the need for a thorough, third-party investigation – one that didn’t just try to recover a tax credit, but that also held every single person involved in illegal activities accountable.
“Throughout this process, our agency has worked closely with investigators. Current ODOE staff have spent countless hours going through project files, emails, and other documents, trying to piece together a history of various projects and why decisions by former staff members were made. We’ll continue to cooperate in any way we can.
“Today’s news does not reflect our agency’s values or culture. However, it does show that our efforts to bring full transparency to ODOE’s past, including the Business Energy Tax Credit, are working. We will continue to advocate for further improvements, including the sunset of our current tax credit programs and the passage of House Bill 2020, which will create a board that will provide oversight of the agency for years to come.”