This morning Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced that Portland lawyer Elisa Dozono will no longer chair the Oregon Lottery Commission as she is resigning.
Dozono is a partner in the Miller Nash law firm which represents Hayden Island lottery retailer, Paddy’s Old Irish Cafe #28. Last week the firm filed suit against the Oregon Lottery and Director Jack Roberts on behalf of Paddy’s. The commission canceled their contract stating that there were too many lottery retailers on Hayden Island.
Dozono was originally appointed to the commission in 2012 but then Governor John Kitzhaber canceled the appointment after criticisms that Dozono’s firm may present a conflict of interest. Miller Nash client Oregon Restaurant Services, Inc., otherwise known as Dotty’s Deli’s is among the largest lottery retailers in Oregon.
Oddly enough, the president of Oregon Restaurant Services also controls Paddy’s parent company.
The Oregon Government Ethics Commission looked into the potential conflict of interest in 2012 and determined there was no reason for the governor to rescind the appointment. Ms. Dozono has been the chairwoman of the lottery commission since then.
The decision by Dozono seems to be one of ethics which require her to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest rather than an actual conflict, as her agency actually dealt harshly with the Paddy retailer rather than give them special treatment.
Governor Kate Brown had nothing but praise for Dozono in her statement Friday morning.
“Elisa Dozono has provided excellent leadership to the Oregon Lottery Commission,” Governor Brown said. “Her integrity is unassailable; she has gone out of her way to ensure that she abided by all the applicable ethical rules with respect to her law practice and her position as Chair. However, the recent litigation required a re-examination of the situation, out of an abundance of caution, this was the best course of action. In the near future, I hope to be able to appoint Elisa to another post so that Oregon may continue to benefit from her talents and dedication.”
No decision on a replacement had been announced by press time on Friday.