MEDFORD — A lawsuit contends a former Jackson County commissioner took cash payments for marijuana consulting while in office and bilked investors to finance a pot shop.

The lawsuit filed Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court contends Doug Breidenthal committed elder abuse and breached fiduciary duty, the Mail Tribune reported in a story on Sunday.

The lawsuit was filed by Larry and Mary Nelson of Prescott, Arizona, and Greg Allen. The Nelsons say they gave Breidenthal $150,000, and are seeking triple damages of $450,000 under Oregon’s Elder Abuse Statute.

“We put up the house for it,” said Larry Nelson, 81. “We’re sitting in a spot where he thinks he owns the whole business. We were supposed to be partners.”

Allen said he gave Breidenthal $79,000. The total being sought in the lawsuit is $529,000.

“His hypocrisy knows no bounds,” said Allen, 53. “This guy’s a shape-shifter. He’s self-serving, and he talks a good game.”

The lawsuit also seeks to freeze American Cannabis Co.’s assets.

Breidenthal, who lost his bid for re-election in the primary last year, didn’t respond to the newspaper’s repeated contact attempts by phone and email.

American Cannabis Co. was scheduled to open earlier this month, but the Nelsons and Allen confronted Breidenthal. They said Breidenthal locked them out after a meeting with an attorney to resolve problems they found when examining business documents.

Allen said the problems included Breidenthal being the only person listed with two businesses associated with American Cannabis Co., and that Breidenthal’s name is the only one on an Oregon Liquor Control license for the pot shop.

Allen said he approached Breidenthal last spring looking for someone local who could introduce him to others in the marijuana industry. Allen has been involved in marijuana ventures in Arizona since 2009, and in Rogue Valley Remedies LLC in Medford.

–The Associated Press

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