Ethics Commission Clears Lincoln City Mayor

By Kiera Morgan

Friday October 23rd the State Ethics Commission dismissed ethics complaints lodged by the Lincoln City city council made against Mayor Don Williams. The 26- page ethics complaint filed with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission on August 21st alleged that Mayor Don Williams attempted to influence vacation rental rules that could have affected his family’s rental home. The complaint alleged that he was actively working, behind the scenes, to get city vacation rental rules changed that would have been a financial benefit for him and his family since they own vacation rentals.

The ethics commission conducted an investigation and found that there was not enough evidence that pointed to ethics violations for them to proceed with. Mayor Williams said he is glad this is over so they can move forward in taking care of the city. “All along I told everyone that there was really nothing to this. I was more than willing to say I may have done something incorrect but I know I didn’t do anything wrong.” He added “There was never any gain financial or otherwise in store for me. I am happy that it’s over and I hope that we can now move forward as a council. The city needs our full attention and we don’t need to continue paying attention to these little things.”

Williams and his wife Debbie own a 6,000 square-foot vacation rental in Lincoln City. Williams said the vacation home was built with the idea that rental profits would benefit nonprofit organizations. It is still not completely over for Mayor Williams yet as the Lincoln City council also authorized hiring an outside investigator to investigate not only Williams but other citizens in Lincoln City regarding their complaints over VRD ordinances.