New head of the OLCC was once arrested for DUI, WW reports

New head of the OLCC was once arrested for DUI, WW reports
Steve Marks. (Courtesy Willamette Week)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Steve Marks, the man who is supposed to control liquor licenses statewide, was allegedly driving drunk, KATU's news partners, Willamette Week reports.

Marks, 52, was working as a campaign aid for then gubernatorial candidate John Kitzhaber when he was pulled over for speeding in September 2010.

According to that arrest record, Marks told the trooper that he wasn't drinking, although the arrest report says that Marks had a field sobriety test, blowing a .05. Marks was arrested and his car towed.

It's not clear whether Marks was ever formally charged.

On Thursday, Marks told Willamette Week he was never charged nor convicted. Marks also said that he disclosed the arrest to the governor. The governor's office confirms that and proceeded with Thursday's appointment to the OLCC.

This all comes after a previous embarrassment for the OLCC. Former director Teresa Kaiser had to step down after her DUII arrest in 2006.

Marks was unanimously supported by OLCC commissioners Thursday. His duties start immediately.

Marks has done a variety of jobs for the governor since 1995, including a stint as chief of staff at the end of Kitzhaber's first eight years.

The OLCC has been without a permanent director since the governor forced Steve Pharo into retirement last year.

Marks told the board he has several goals, including retail innovation and enhancing stronger partnerships with local government.

The OLCC enforces alcohol rules and buys and sells almost all spirits. Revenue collected through the sale of spirits and taxation of beer and wine is the state's third largest source of revenue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.