Commissioner Amanda Fritz has asked the director of Portland's Office of Human Relations to step down, WW has learned.
Maria Lisa Johnson, the office director pictured on the left, has led the small bureau since then-Mayor Tom Potter created it in 2008 to end "discrimination and bigotry, strengthen inter-group relationships and foster greater understanding, inclusion and justice for those who live, work, study, worship, travel and play in Portland."
Fritz's decision comes as Mayor Sam Adams plans to create a new Office of Equity, which may subsume the Office of Human Relations.
Fritz declined through a staffer to talk about the matter, saying it was a personnel issue. But a volunteer member of the Human Rights Commission of the Office of Human Relations says Fritz came to a meeting last week and told the group Johnson had been given several new "options" under the new proposal.
Fritz then declined to elaborate, the commission member says. Johnson, who left that meeting early, did not immediately return phone calls from Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.