A frequent critic of Portland City Council has sued Commissioner Chloe Eudaly in federal court, alleging Eudaly used her personal Facebook account to bully and ridicule her and that those social-media posts should be public record.
Mimi German today filed a civil-rights lawsuit in U.S. District Court, asking a judge to compel Eudaly to release posts and comments from her personal Facebook page, which is locked. German argues that the Facebook page is a public record, and that the refusal of Eudaly and the Portland City Attorney's office to release the contents is a violation of German's constitutional rights.
"Commissioner Eudaly has created public documents related to Ms. German's testimony on a Facebook page that Ms. German is blocked from seeing," the lawsuit says. "Commissioner Eudaly has also engaged in lengthy discussions of about Ms. German's testimony that she is blocked from seeing, exchanges which were visible to lobbyists, other city officials and members of the media."
The lawsuit is the first court action in an ongoing dispute over whether Eudaly's personal social-media posts should be considered a public record while she serves in office. It's also the latest twist in a long-running battle between City Council and its most dedicated and disruptive critics.
German, who is representing herself in the lawsuit, is a vocal critic of City Hall policies on homelessness and policing. She regularly testifies at City Council meetings. This spring, she led abrasive protests that brought meetings to a halt and caused Mayor Ted Wheeler to exclude her from hearings.
In her lawsuit, she says Eudaly repeatedly left council chambers during her testimony, then took to Facebook to ridicule her.
"On or about October 30, 2017," the lawsuit says, "Commissioner Eudaly followed up by publishing a screed on her Facebook mocking Ms. German which got over 200 responses and generated a number of comments. In the responses Ms. German was called all sorts of foul names."
The lawsuit asks the court to compel Eudaly to release the Facebook posts and comments, to make her remain in council chambers during German's testimony, and to award German monetary damages.
Eudaly's office could not be reached for comment.