SPRINGFIELD – Oregon Government Ethics Commission (OGEC) dismissed Lane County commissioner and Masaka Properties LLC co-owner David Loveall’s case during an executive session meeting on Friday, Oct. 6, stating there was insufficient information to move forward with an investigation.
That meeting’s agenda and audio recordings were published on the OGEC website Friday evening, making this executive session available to the public.
The matter at hand goes back to early June when Loveall’s business partner for Masaka Properties LLC, Robert Miller, sent Springfield Economic Development Agency (SEDA) staff a funding request. It was speculated that Miller did this because Loveall shared information that was discussed privately during the June 5 SEDA executive session.
Upon being asked what he was feeling after this months-long process finished today, Loveall said, “The feeling is it shouldn’t have started in the first place.”
“There’s a certain amount of questions I still have of why this came about in the first place when you have a person who spent 17 years of their life helping develop downtown Springfield… putting their life savings on the line, and then all of a sudden they’re going to be elected and try to manipulate the system? That’s just absurd,” Loveall said.
Loveall said this all may chalk up to people wanting to tarnish his reputation since Miller’s letter did not mention any confidential information from the June 5 executive session meeting, referencing what a member of OGEC staff said today.
“I’m not seeing the delta,” she said. “What’s the confidential information that we think was in Mr. Miller’s letter?”
The commission discussed that the information in Miller’s letter about the stalling of the Blue McKenzie project, a project which has since been terminated, was public knowledge, coming to the conclusion that the issue in question was whether Miller knew of a potential funding opportunity. Loveall clarified for the commissioners that the June 5 executive session meeting did not discuss funds which were releasable or available.
“I think the clickbait and the attack on our character had done its job for the people who wanted to make this complaint do that job,” Loveall said. “That’s unfortunate, and I’m committed to moving forward in good faith, helping the citizens of Springfield, but knowing that I’ll always be a person of integrity and character, and that’ll be proved over and over.”
SEDA authorized city attorney Mary Bridget Smith to contact OGEC to initiate the investigation on June 27 during a public meeting, which took away Loveall’s choice to keep this matter private versus public.
“There was some impropriety on the procedure about how it happened,” Loveall said. “Typically, the person who’s accused of a complaint has the right to make that public or private until the Ethics Commission releases an investigation, which then becomes public. I was not allowed to do that, so I think there’s some procedural errors made by SEDA that need to be looked at.
“I feel like there’s been some bullying of the city council members of SEDA to come to this agreement of the complaint, and I think that for some people on the board, they have learned some valuable lessons about their own integrity.”
City staff was not available for comment before this article was published.
Loveall said, “The sad thing about the political system is: Anybody can make a complaint about anything, and the burden of proof comes upon the innocent, guilty. I’ve got about $6,500 in legal fees that I have to pay for personally because someone wanted to marr my character. That puts a little extra helping of fight in a person who wants to do what’s right for the county and for the citizens of Lane County.”
He said his six years in the United States Navy taught him valuable life lessons.
“I’m not going away, and I’m not backing down,” Loveall said. “I learned in the military that when you’re over the target, that’s when you get to shut up. So apparently, I’m making some people very uncomfortable, and that’s what I’m supposed to do.
“If I’m the person that has to be the tip of the spear to make sure the government is accountable and integris and works in the highest degree of character, then I’m happy to lead that force. Obviously I’m glad that it’s over. I’m a warrior, so we’re going to press on.”
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information and additional sourcing becomes available.