Sources have told local media outlets that that Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has hired former Portland Mayor Sam Adams for his staff, though the exact position was not disclosed.
Wheeler's office is expected to announce a new chief of staff Monday, but Adams will not be filling that position.
According to Oregon Live, Adams, “has made no secret about his strong desire to return to City Hall.” Adams served as city commissioner for one term and in the administration of popular former Portland Mayor Vera Katz, before serving as mayor himself from 2009 to 2012.
As mayor, Adams was embroiled in a sex scandal involving a relationship with a male intern who worked for Oregon State Representative Kim Thatcher. Adams originally denied the allegations, then admitted to lying about it to avoid accusations of ‘grooming’ because the intern was under the age of consent when they met. A criminal investigation was initiated in January of 2009 which eventually concluded that no charges would be filed and that there was "no credible evidence" of inappropriate sexual contact before the age of consent.
Adams' term in office survived two recall attempts which failed to garner enough signatures to be placed on the ballot, but announced in 2011 that he would not seek a second term in as mayor.
In 2017 Adams was accused of sexual harassment by a former aide from his time as mayor and a month later, left his job at a DC think tank but claimed the allegations did not factor in the decision.
According to The Oregonian, “Adams has denied the allegations and members of his staff and contemporaneous records from the mayor’s office refuted some key elements of the staffer’s claims.”
Adams remained active in politics and in May of 2020 failed to advance past the primary to unseat City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.
According to the Willamette Week, during Wheeler’s re-election campaign in 2020, a few local business leaders who formed an independent expenditure campaign for the Mayor, pitched Wheeler on bringing Adams to work in the administration.
This is a developing story.