SALEM — A Salem attorney is alleging a Washington County candidate for state Senate has improperly portrayed himself as a Certified Public Accountant.
Luke Miller claims Monte Akers, who is seeking the Republican nomination to represent Senate District 15, has repeatedly and publicly held himself out to be a CPA although his state CPA license expired in 1991.
In an April 13 complaint to the Oregon Board of Accountancy, Miller alleged Akers represented himself as a CPA “for both financial and political gain, as well as to add credibility to local political causes.”
According to the Oregon Board of Accountancy, in order to use the title Certified Public Accountant, you must be licensed by the board. The board investigates complaints against licensees and “individuals holding themselves out as a CPA or PA without a valid license,” according to the board’s website.
By portraying himself as a CPA, Miller argues, Akers was able to secure appointments to “important public positions,” such as the City of Hillsboro Budget Committee and the Hillsboro School Board.
In 2017, the complaint alleges, Akers endorsed a ballot measure and signed his name followed by “CPA” in the Washington County Voters’ Pamphlet.
The complaint also claims that in a 2013 Multnomah County probate case, Akers swore “under penalty of perjury” that he was a CPA, despite the expired license.
In the Voters’ Pamphlet for the 2018 primary, Akers describes his occupation as “Certified Public Accountant (Ret.)”, Secretary of State records show.
Akers, reached by phone midday Monday, said that he had not seen the complaint, nor a news release Miller sent to the press earlier that day.
“I would deny it, I guess, until I saw what they’re talking about,” Akers, who retired in 2012, said.
He said that he let the state CPA license expire in 1991 because it was not required for the position he was in at that time.
After a reporter sent Miller’s allegations to Akers via email, the candidate did not return multiple additional requests for follow-up comment Monday afternoon and evening.
Miller, who says he’s an Independent voter, says that although he lives in Salem, he started doing research on candidates in other districts. He learned Akers said he was a CPA.
But Oregon Board of Accountancy records show that Akers’ license expired in 1991.
“...When I see someone practicing without a license and holds themselves out to be a certain way, it bothers me, because Oregon makes it difficult for us at times to comply, but we do the best we can to comply,” Miller said. “So if I have to comply, so should he.”
Miller maintains he is not affiliated with any political group.
The primary is May 15. Akers is running against fellow Republican Alexander Flores, the chairman of Centro Cultural de Washington County, for the nomination. Flores has been endorsed by Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters, of Salem.
Senate District 15 includes Hillsboro, Forest Grove, Cornelius and North Plains.
Sen. Chuck Riley, a Democrat and former member of the Oregon House of Representatives who has represented the district since 2015, is running for reelection.
Complaints made to the Board of Accountancy are referred to the board’s complaint committee, which determines if there’s enough evidence to open a formal investigation into the complaint.