Oregon Iron Works responds to commissioner's criticism

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Oregon Iron Works issued a statement Friday in response to Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow's criticism of the hiring of a former county commissioner about a month after she and other commissioners voted to give the company incentives.

"To be clear, Oregon Iron Works made a job offer to Ann Lininger in January 2013," said Oregon Iron Works spokeswoman Christine Hotchkin. "The outcome of the board's unanimous vote in November had nothing to do with OIW's offer. We invited Lininger to join our team because she has the intelligence, knowledge and problem-solving skills we need in our business."

Lininger voted with a unanimous board to award a $2 million incentive package to Oregon Iron Works so they'd keep their new streetcar-building operation in Clackamas County instead of pursuing a move to Vancouver. Oregon Iron Works makes parts for marine, space and transit travel. The company built Portland's newest streetcar and is also involved in large-scale construction and renewable energy.

At the time of the transaction, Ludlow spoke against the deal and asked the board to defer the decision until he and two other new commissioners took office.

Ludlow criticized Lininger's move when it was announced in January and later told The Oregonian he is planning to propose a rule that would keep commissioners from taking private-sector jobs with companies that they voted to give money or business to while in office.

"It's just wrong. There's no other word for it," Ludlow said of Lininger's move. It's just patently wrong."

Oregon Iron Works executives donated a combined $1,700 to Lininger's 2010 run for commissioner. A company statement said she will not be working with Clackamas County.