Oregon Liquor Chief Announces Retirement

Oct 23, 2012

The embattled director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announced Tuesday that he'll retire next month. Gov. John Kitzhaber pressured Steve Pharo to step down earlier this year. But the liquor agency head refused until now.

Pharo has been with the Liquor Control Commission for 18 years. The former Marine colonel says he'll retire from the agency that regulates the sale of hard liquor in Oregon.

Last spring, reports surfaced of a clash between Pharo and Cassandra Skinner, who chairs the Commission. Skinner said in an email that Pharo had made her look like a "bumbling idiot" by not adequately briefing her in advance of a legislative hearing.

At the same time, an aide to Gov. Kitzhaber reportedly pressured Pharo to step down. He did not and the commission backed off on a proposal to fire him. Now, Pharo says his last day on the job will be November 16.

Chair Skinner said in a statement that she "values Steve's years of service and wishes him well in his retirement."

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network