Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, a Democrat, has recused herself from a criminal investigation into the cryptocurrency executive who gave the Democratic Party of Oregon $500,000 under a false name.
Rosenblum’s communications director, Roy Kaufmann, told the Capital Chronicle in an email that Deputy Attorney General Lisa Udland will oversee the department’s investigation into Nishad Singh, the former director of engineering at the disgraced cryptocurrency firm FTX.
“The attorney general has chosen to recuse herself from this matter, including any review, investigation or prosecution of any individual, (including but not limited to Mr. Singh) or entity, related to or arising from the referral,” Kaufmann wrote.
Rosenblum has given the party nearly $115,000 from her campaign fund since 2012, state campaign finance records show. Candidates and elected officials regularly contribute to political action committees for parties or political caucuses who use the money to elect like-minded candidates.
Udland, who has worked at the Department of Justice since 2002, does not appear to have given money to any state candidates or political action committees.
Rosenblum’s recusal is a marked difference from how the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office handled the initial investigation into Singh and the state Democratic Party. Elections Division Director Molly Woon spent three years as the party’s communications director and deputy director before joining the Secretary of State’s office, and she did not recuse herself.
Under a settlement with the Elections Division, the party will pay a $15,000 fine and provide the division with a detailed outline of how it will accurately report future campaign contributions.
Story by Julia Shumway, photo by Ron Cooper, both of Oregon Capital Chronicle
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