Business & economy, Local government, Special Reports

County’s marketing material sends businesses to leaders no longer in office – and one who has died

VALE – The box of folders delivered to the Malheur County Court last month seemed to be just a bland set of documents transferred from the economic development department as its director, Greg Smith, closed up shop.The folders, crafted by the team managed by Smith, were designed to market Malheur County to employers considering relocating to the local area.But information in the marketing material was significantly outdated, listing people in public office long gone and providing information about bank branches closed years ago.County officials couldn’t explain when the material was produced or who it had been handed out to.Smith, operating through his private company, had been under contract since 2013 to provide economic development services.For his fee of $9,000 a month, Smith was supposed to “develop current flyers, brochures and materials to market and promote Malheur County” and “ensure that information provided for . . .