Bending The Truth

Venue executives in and around Bend, Ore., have had their differences with a state employee named Jason Evers. Or at least with one they thought was named Jason Evers.

Evers is a controversial figure to business owners with liquor licenses. As an employee of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Evers meted out fines and reprimands in a way that business owners found unfair. He was taken to task twice for fining bars, charges that were dropped after surveillance tapes contradicted his claims. The 8,000-capacity Les Schwab Amphitheatre also had run-ins with Evans.

Now it appears the 31-year-old OLCC employee might be an identity thief.

U.S. marshals arrested Evers in Idaho April 29 and charged him with providing false information on a passport application. A routine check on a 2002 job application turned up a match with the death certificate of a boy named Jason Evers who was kidnapped and murdered 28 years ago in Ohio, according to assistant U.S. Attorney Lance Caldwell.

Evers (his real name is unknown and he is reportedly not cooperating with authorities) faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine.

Evers was hired by the OLCC in 2002. Working as an investigator out of the Bend office, Evers drew attention in 2004 when he fined Corey’s Bar and Grill $13,000 for serving a visibly intoxicated patron. Evers reported the patron fell off a barstool, stumbled through the bar, spilled his drink and fell asleep, according to the Bend Bulletin. OLCC’s director dismissed the case.

“The signs of swaying when [the man] walked, falling off the stool and leaning on the bar for support, falling asleep or unable to sit up straight are contradicted by the video,” the director said in the dismissal order.

In 2005, Evers accused the owners of JC’s Bar & Grill of getting into a physical altercation with a female agent. That, too, was dismissed because of video. He was later promoted to regional manager.

Last year, Les Schwab venue officials complained of increasingly strict alcohol regulations, and implicated Evers. Bright lighting was required at the venue, alcohol sales were cut more than two hours before some concerts wrapped, and concertgoers who purchased beer and wine were restricted to a fenced beer garden, leading to complaints from fans and bands. The restrictions were eventually eased.

The Oregon Department of Justice determined in December that Evers and his staff had exceeded their authority or were overly punitive in nearly a dozen cases, according to the Bulletin. Those investigations do not include the two previously mentioned.