Gov. Brown fires 3 from Environmental Quality Commission

Sudden move prompts McLane questions

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has fired three of the five members of the Environmental Quality Commission, who oversee the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, without a warning.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports ( ) that Brown called commissioners Colleen Johnson, Morgan Rider and Melinda Eden Wednesday to fire them.

The governor's office did not give much information regarding the reasoning behind the firings. Johnson says she and the two other former commissioners "were completely blindsided and stunned."

Johnson was serving her second four-year term, Rider had 15 months left in her term and Eden had three months left in hers.

The agency, which enforces laws curbing air, ground and water pollution, has a $332 million budget and about 700 full-time staff.

Johnson says the three will be releasing public statements soon.

House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, said in a statement issued Thursday he has questions about what happened and why.

“Governor Brown’s office needs to provide a more thorough explanation for yesterday’s abrupt firings," McLane said. "Not only were these firings unexpected, the decision to fire a majority of a commission is perhaps unprecedented in our state’s history. Oregonians deserve transparency when it comes to public boards and commissions.”


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