May 11th, 2010 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, CLEAN UP

BOLI Finishes John Minnis Investigation: "Substantial Evidence of an Unlawful Employment Practice"

John Minnis

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries today released the results of an investigation into the actions of former Department of Public Safety Standards and Training Director John Minnis.

Minnis, a former Portland Police detective and Republican state senator from Wood Village, retired abruptly last November from DPSST. His retirement came after a subordinate accused Minnis, who's married to former Oregon House Speaker Karen Minnis, of sexual harassment.

BOLI's investigation reprises the lurid details [PDF] revealed in an earlier Oregon Department of Justice probe which concluded with a finding that DOJ "cannot prove that Mr. Minnis committed any criminal acts."

Short of that, however, there is much discussion of Minnis plying his alcoholic subordinate with vodka; hot-tub come-ons and Minnis' admission that he did "ejaculate on the freakin' sheets" while with his subordinate in a hotel room on a work-related trip.

BOLI, which is responsible for policing civil rights and work-place discrimination cases, focused its investigation on a different standard than did DOJ: whether Minnis and the agency he directed, DPSST, unlawfully discriminated against Minnis' female subordinate, referred to as "Jane Doe."

Here's the BOLI investigators' conclusion:

minnis finding

The next step is a hearing [PDF] in front of an administrative law judge on July 27 in Salem. In that hearing, BOLI will argue Jane Doe's case. She is seeking $2 million for "emotional, mental and physical suffering."

The proceeding is slightly unusual. Because BOLI Commissioner Brad Avakian initiated the BOLI complaint against Minnis, Jane Doe has the option of proceeding to trial in an administrative proceeding, rather than seeking a civil trial in county court, explains BOLI spokesman Bob Estabrook. Should the administrative law judge find against DPSST and Minnis, they have the right to seek reconsideration from the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Minnis' attorney, Karen O'Kasey, was not immediately available for comment.
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