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Measure supporters turn up heat on sewer building

Supporters of the Portland Public water district have asked the Multnomah County District Attorney to investigate cost overruns at a new city Bureau of Environmental Services Bureau building.

The request is based on information contained in a May 6 report on KOIN TV News that revealed the city's chief architect on the project left to work for the building's contractor as the costs were increasing from $3.2 million to $12.5 million.

First Assistant DA Jeff Howes says the DA's office had just no immediate comment on the request — which was hand-delivered by letter Wednesday morning — but would review it over the next few days.

The supporters of Measure 26-156 on the May 20 Primary Election ballot also demanded that BES Director Dean Marriott be fired. The request and demand were made during a Wednesday morning press conference by measure chief co-petitioners Kent Craford and Floy Jones.

Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish, who is in charge of BES, had already asked the City Auditor's Office to investigate whether the spending on the project violated any city rules. Fish deferred comment on the supporter's request and demand on Wednesday, saying he did not want to politicize the auditor's office investigation.

Measure 26-156 would transfer control of BES and the Water Bureau from the City Council to an independently-elected district board.

The KOIN News 6 story on the press conference can be seen at koin.com/2014/05/07/water-investigation-spawns-resignation-demand/