The Oregon Secretary of State's office has replied to one of three complaints Larry Taylor filed Monday.
Tuesday's answer was that the agency was not going to pursue an allegation against Clatsop County Board of Commissioners Chairman Richard Lee because it had no jurisdiction on the matter.
A spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's office said any further action on this should be pursued in a civil complaint in circuit court.
Taylor, a director for the Committee to Retain the Independence of the Office of District Attorney, had complained to the state that Lee had run a misleading ad in The Daily Astorian Friday. The Committee to Retain the Independence of the Office of District Attorney is the committee which supports the measure to change the county's charter to include a stipend that keeps the DA's salary between 90 and 100 percent of that of circuit judges.
Oregon Secretary of State Compliance Specialist Norma Buckno wrote to Taylor, "the Oregon Supreme Court has 'consistently held that statements are not 'false' as that term is used in ORS 260.532(1), if any reasonable inference can be drawn from the evidence that the statement is factually correct or that the statement is merely an expression of opinion.'"
The letter said that even an ambiguous statement which leads to "erroneous inferences" is not a "false statement."
The statement in question is that Measure 4-123 would make the Clatsop County DA the "highest-salaried district attorney in the State of Oregon."
Buckno's letter said "a violation of ORS 260.532 must be proven by 'clear and convincing evidence.'"
Her letter concluded by saying, "Based on the above information, this office plans no further action on this complaint. Thank you for taking the time and effort to express your concerns."
Another complaint Taylor filed Monday concerned a flier, mailed out around the region last week, with similar wording to Lee's newspaper ad. The third complaint was about a $4,000-contributor to the Citizens for Clatsop County Charter Integrity, the committee in opposition to Measure 4-123. Nancy Harbour, the Hubbard woman in question, was found to have ties to Lee's family.
The spokeswoman for the Secretary of State's office said the agency is still investigating those two complaints.