PORTLAND, Ore. -- An administrative law judge has affirmed a $65,000 penalty against the chief petitioner of a ballot measure who was accused of breaking Oregon law by paying signature gatherers based on the number of names they collected.

A voter-approved measure in 2002 makes it illegal to pay petition circulators for each name they collect. Supporters of that measure said the payment system encourages workers to fake signatures.

The secretary of state's office levied the fine a year ago against Robert Wolfe, the chief petitioner for a pot-legalization effort that never made the ballot.

The fine was affirmed Friday by Alison Greene Webster, a senior administrative law judge.

The ruling can be challenged to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Wolfe's attorney, Dan Meek, says the allegations were made by two workers incapable of telling the truth, and his client will fight the fine.

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