Whew, chile, this story is bananas. Better sit down for this one.


Six Oregon State Liquor and Cannabis Commission Agency members have been accused of using insider information to help themselves and those in their insider circle to buy up certain rare bourbons and other drinks before the public had a chance to go get some, too. I’m calling this Pappygate 2.0.

Pappygate 2.0

As Oregon state agency employees for the liquor and cannabis commission, parts of the job includes controlling how much liquor others can sell within Oregon and also specifically which locations certain premium sought-after liquors can be sold. They are in control of the supply. Move over, “insider trading”, make way for “insider slicker liquor”!

This scheme was to send the expensive, luxury liquors (like Pappy Van Winkle's 23-Year-Old bourbon) to designated stores so that the OLCC director, second-in-command, their coworkers, and their favorite state legislators could rush out to buy them before the public had a chance to. It was a buddy system that allowed them to buy up the good stuff for themselves. They had the cheat codes, pardon the gaming reference. ALT+B+B! Alt Bourbon Buddies!


Allegedly, this practice has been going on in Oregon for at least eight (8) years.


Pappy Van Winkle 23-year-old bourbon has been listed as being amongst the hoarded liquors. It is made in Kentucky. The bottle of 20-year-old bourbon you see below is worth $3,999!

Pappy Van Winkle 20-Year Bourbon

FUN FACT: Did you know there is a Netflix documentary about a huge heist of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon? It is featured in episodes 5 and 6, and is rated MA for Mature Audiences only.


This begs the question…

If it was you who got busted on the job doing all of the above, do you think you should be fired (and possibly be prosecuted by the state)?

Investigators in Oregon seem to think so, and so does Oregon Governor Kotek. She said she is not here for the games.
She basically told them to: 


Governor Kotek says this scheme was an ethical violation of their official duties. She sent out a sternly-written letter on February 8th, to the OLCC Board asking them to fire those involved in Pappygate 2.0. She said the jig is UP! She also referred this ethics grievance case over to the Oregon Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, for potential charges in a civil suit by the State. (Here's the letter.)


There is a law on the books in Oregon, i.e. their employee handbook, that says government employees cannot use confidential info for their own personal gain. It is absolutely akin to insider trading, if you think about it.

Chapter 244 — Government Ethics

244.040 Prohibited use of official position or office; exceptions; other prohibited actions.

(4) A public official may not attempt to further or further the personal gain of the public official through the use of confidential information gained in the course of or by reason of holding position as a public official or activities of the public official. - OregonLegislature.gov

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