Investigation on former state representative begins

SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Department of Justice is opening a formal criminal investigation against former Salem lawmaker Dan Doyle, who resigned earlier this year after allegations of irregularities in his 2004 campaign-finance report.

“A decision has been made that this is not simply a civil matter, rather, that there is a potential for criminal wrongdoing,” Kevin Neely, a Justice Department spokesman, told The Statesman-Journal of Salem.

Doyle, the former co-chairman of the Legislature’s budget-writing panel, resigned from his House of Representatives seat in late January.

His resignation came after several campaign-service providers said Doyle had recorded spending more on his finance reports than they received or billed his campaign, raising questions about more than $64,000 in campaign donations.

Doyle, who faces a potential felony if he knowingly signed false statements, did not immediately return calls seeking comment from the Salem newspaper.

In just two terms in the Oregon House, Doyle became a leading fiscal conservative and critic of government spending. But there were signs that he was having money-management problems of his own.

Three liens were placed on his home in the late 1990s for failure to pay federal income taxes and homeowners’ association dues. Last year, he was sanctioned by the Oregon Bar Association for mishandling two clients’ cases, and his law license was suspended for a month.