Mayor Ted Wheeler is fortunate enough to own a second home—a 2,790-square-foot Arch Cape getaway with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. But if you'd like to send mail or pay a visit, maybe don't rely on Wheeler for the address.
For the past six years, Wheeler has furnished the Oregon Ethics Commission with the wrong address for his home away from home, an error that could technically merit thousands of dollars in fines. From 2012 to 2017, statements of economic interest (SEI) Wheeler is required to file as a public official listed an address for the home that doesn't even exist. Wheeler entered in the correct address for a 2011 filing, then began consistently listing the wrong address each year since.
The Mercury discovered the faulty information during a cursory search through Wheeler's yearly SEIs, which also list a condo near an airport hangar (Wheeler has his pilot's license), and various business interests the mayor has had a stake in over the years. We wondered if perhaps the mayor had fudged the address to prevent visitors. His office insists that's not the case.
"At some point back years ago when they were filling out the forms...the first three numbers they wrote wrong," says Michael Cox, the mayor's deputy chief of staff. "The error just carried over into all future years. They know their address."
After the Mercury asked about the incorrect information, but before his office responded to our questions, Wheeler's wife, Katrina, had corrected the forms, Cox says.
Furnishing incorrect information on an SEI can be costly. According to Marie Scheffers, a compliance and education coordinator for the Oregon Ethics Commission, offering up false info on an SEI is punishable by up to a $5,000 civil fine under state law. Cox says it did not appear as though the ethics commission was concerned about the Wheelers' lapse.
"I believe when she spoke to the staff over there, they just gave them directions on how to correct the forms," Cox said.