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For Malheur County commissioner, special shirt from contractor was needed ‘uniform’

Commissioner Larry Wilson, rear left, wears his Malheur County Economic Development shirt at a state meeting in Salem in July. (ODOT video)

VALE – Malheur County Commissioner Larry Wilson sat in a state meeting in Salem last July, wearing a one-of-a-kind shirt.

The long-sleeved shirt was personalized.

“Commissioner Wilson,” it read.

Wilson received the shirt and a second one from Greg Smith, the private contractor from Heppner retained to serve as Malheur County’s economic development director.

Records obtained by the Enterprise showed the two shirts cost Smith’s company $140 – nearly three times the state limit on gifts Wilson can accept from a contractor.

Last month, Wilson wrote a check to reimburse most of the cost of the shirts, acting after the Enterprise sought public records on . . .