John Ludlow thinks the rules don't apply to him

Carla Axtman

The spotlight, it burns ever so bright for Clackamas County Chair John Ludlow. And he ain't loving it.

A rather unsavory string of events involving Ludlow's questionable behavior as a public official continues to unfold. For awhile now, when I bring up Clackamas County to other folks, even those not deep into politics, the response is grimace and a shake of the head.

Ludlow's latest debacle has him fighting a public records request from his personal email accounts between him and The Oregon Transformation Project, who largely funded his election campaign.

In addition, the Clackamas County Commission has agreed to fund Ludlow's legal bills to fight the request to the tune of $1775. Ludlow originally tried to sneak the request through in a closed-door session but ultimately did so in a public meeting.

Ludlow's shaky ethical behavior has dogged him from the outset. Soon after taking office, it was revealed that Ludlow and his Tea Party cohort Tootie Smith walked into the county administrator's office a half an hour after being sworn in and dismissed him, without discussing it with their colleagues. It appears, at least on the surface, to be a move to help a political crony, assistant Clackamas council Scot Sideras, obtain the job.

More recently, Ludlow's rift with fellow commissioner Paul Savas entered the glare of public scrutiny. In what is best described as childish crap, Ludlow screamed "Do you want a piece of me?" at Savas in a June 11 planning meeting. Ludlow's behavior was witnessed by county employees, but not recorded. Ludlow says that Savas is "condescending".

Right. That must be the problem.

Ludlow has only been in office for six months. Imagine the many more months of clownish buffoonery to come.

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