Does this painting belong in the Oregon Capitol?

Does this painting belong in the Oregon Capitol?

EUGENE, Ore. - Before voters elected Neil Goldschmidt as governor and before President Jimmy Carter named him his Secretary of Transportation, the influential Oregonian served as Mayor of Portland - and sexually abused his 14-year-old neighbor.

Willamette Week reporter Nigel Jaquiss won the Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for the 2004 story that exposed the long-hidden secret. | Read the story

Then-State Sen. Vicki Walker and Rep. Tim Knopp demanded the state pull Goldschmidt's official portrait from the walls of the Capitol building.

"We compromised at that time and allowed it to go into the library," Walker recalled, "but now that the public knows this is really just outrageous and he does not deserve a place in the Capitol building."

Goldschmidt's victim recently died. The Oregonian reported accusations she made before her death that the abuse went on longer than Goldschmidt has acknowledged.

He has denied those claims. | Background

"It is hard to deny now," Walker said, "that the former Governor raped a child."

Walker wants to see his portrait removed from the Capitol.

She sent her request to the Senate president and the co-Speakers of the House. KVAL News has asked for comment from those offices on the matter.

The Senate president has not responded.

"The Co-Speakers' offices received the request and are weighing it," read the entire e-mail message back from Steve Lindsley, Communication Director for the Oregon House Co-Speakers.

"Neil did contribute to the State of Oregon and I recognize that," Walker said. "That's in the history books, but that's where it will remain."

The public could still access the painting via the state's archives, she said.

"We shouldn't hide it for no one to ever see," she told KVAL News, "but we should put it in a box and get it out of our face.

"This crime he committed wasn't like stealing candy from a grocery store," Walker said. "This was a total violation of a child's trust, of public trust and he needs to suffer for that, and this is one way we can make that happen by putting his portrait away and moving on."