Downtown Portland

This stock photo shows the Hawthorne Bridge over the Willamette River in downtown Portland. 

The city of Portland’s auditor’s office has fined one of the Portland area’s most influential business organizations for repeatedly violating city lobbying rules last year.

An investigation by the auditor’s office found the Portland Business Alliance failed to disclose at least 25 times it had contacted city officials to request access, funding or action, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Those unreported emails, text messages and other interactions with officials did not appear in quarterly statements the alliance is required to file with the city as an organization that often lobbies City Hall.

The alliance serves as the region’s chamber of commerce and lobbies for local business interests. The violations come with a maximum penalty of $75,000. But the auditor’s office fined the alliance $450 and recommended alliance staff get compliance training.

Louise Hansen, the city’s elections officer, said the small amount, was partly because it had been seven years since the alliance had been dinged for lobbying violations.

She also said the office rarely issues fines for these violations, but, it could not overlook the matter this time given the number of violations. 

In an emailed statement to the media outlet, the alliance said it would review the violations and work with the auditor's office.

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