Jun 01,2006 00:00
Roger Pollock looks like a pillar of the community. He is on the board of Oregon Partnership, a statewide non-profit promoting healthy kids and communities through drug and alcohol awareness and prevention programs.
Pollock has been the subject of many profiles over the years in The Oregonian and the Portland Business Journal and he is the man behind Buena Vista Custom Homes who recently announced entering the Central Oregon housing market for the first time after securing 455 homebuilding lots in the Bend area.
While Buena Vista Custom Homes touts being named the fastest growing homebuilder in the nation by Builder Magazine in 2005, what the company is not touting is their owner’s troubled history including drug arrests, assault charges and lawsuits.
In January 2001, Pollock was the subject of an unfavorable story in Willamette Week. There he was not being praised for his booming building business, but rather as the buyer of a since-unloaded business that supplied overpriced sculptures to charity auctions in return for a split of the proceeds. WW raised questions about the validity of the appraisals that the company uses to market its art.
The same year, according to Willamette Week he pled guilty to driving while intoxicated and was accused in divorce proceedings of physically abusing his wife, Kristy. On April 4 2001, once again his reputation was tarnished when he was indicted by a Multnomah County Grand Jury on charges of possession and delivery of MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and assault in the fourth degree.
In November 2005, Pollock pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of Ecstasy. He was sentenced to 24 months of probation and agreed to contribute $10,000 to the Multnomah County Drug Court Trust Fund. The district attorney dropped the felony possession, delivery and assault charges, largely because the victims had moved on and didn't want to go through with the trial.
During sentencing, Pollock convinced the court that if given the maximum punishment he could not do any good in the community. For example, he makes a contribution to charity for each house he sells and reportedly gave in excess of $300,000 to charities in 2005.
In a recent release about building in Bend, Pollock is quoted as saying, “This is an exciting move for our company. He added, "The Bend area is one that we have been doing market research and studying for quite some time. We really think the time is right to make a full presence."
However, do Bend citizens deserve to know the full truth about his legal infractions? Should central Oregonians be privy to the not-so-dreamy past of the man building their future dream homes?
Most people are looking at the boost to the Bend homebuilding industry. After all, the current average cost of a Buena Vista home is $440,006; which means the total value of the Bend area developments could eclipse $200 million.
While many see the value in the changes Pollock will bring to Bend, many in the community are hoping his own values have changed as well.
Bend Oregon, Central Oregon, K. Guice