In a Nov. 30 cover story, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Nigel Jaquiss exposed the involvement of the local management of Portland General Electric in "tax dodges and financial machinations that cost Oregonians nearly $1 billion over the past eight years." Jaquiss supported his claim with financial records and copies of internal e-mails. As a result, the Portland City Commissioner launched a criminal investigation into PGE, the state's largest utility. The investigation was written up (with due credit to Willamette Week) in The Oregonian and several other outlets. In addition, in November a public defender resigned after WW revealed his indecency convictions and a fire official was fined as a result of wrongdoing exposed by the paper.
Back in April, Willamette Week asked the city of Portland about $85,000 in contracts that Fire Bureau manager Michael Speck awarded to a company owned by his son. The city then launched an investigation and, after the paper published the story, suspended Speck for a month without pay. According to a story this week in the Oregonian, Speck has been ordered to pay a $6,000 penalty because investigators found that he had broken ethics laws.