Portland broadcasting icon and 1190 AM KEX morning host Paul Linnman has been sued for $325,000 by a co-worker who claims he groped her buttocks and made sexual comments.
In a suit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Friday, Kailee Kinney says she was working for Clear Channel Broadcasting's advertising department last February when Linnman came up behind her and grabbed her backside.
"Linnman came up behind plaintiff and groped her buttocks, a sexually intimate part of her body," the suit says. "Linnman used an open palm to slap Plaintiff's buttocks and then grabbed and squeezed plaintiff's buttocks."
The suit says he approached her again later the same day, Feb. 26, 2013.
"I should apologize, but that black dress," he allegedly said, "you look great in that black dress." The suit says Linnman licked his lips and stared at Kinney's breasts while he talked to her.
Kinney's attorney, Ashley Bannon, says the alleged groping occurred at a building opening, where Linnman was representing the station to possible advertising clients.
She is seeking damages of $325,000.
Kinney also filed a complaint Feb. 24 with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, alleging that after she reported Linnman's inappropriate behavior to several managers, Clear Channel retaliated against her.
"I was subjected to repeated forms of retaliation," the complaint says, "which include but are not limited to: increased scrutiny in my job performance, having customer accounts taken away from me, having the employee who sexually harassed me refuse to participate in a television commercial for one of my clients (despite a prior commitment by him)."
The BOLI complaint says she is also filing a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Neither Linnman nor Clear Channel officials have responded to requests for comment.
Linnman was a television reporter and anchor for more than 30 years at KATU and KGW. He's best known for reporting on the Oregon Highway Division's explosion of a dead whale on the coast of Florence, Ore.
He now hosts "Morning Update with Paul Linnman" on 1190 AM KEX.
UPDATE, 10:57 am Wednesday, March 12: Linnman has declined comment to WW. "As you know," he says, "this is a legal matter which I can't comment on no matter how much I wish I could."
UPDATE, 1:58 pm: Linnman's attorney, Sharon C. Peters, has issued a statement.
Anyone can claim anything in a civil lawsuit. Our legal system exists to determine the truth of those claims, and we look forward to the facts coming out in that process. In the meantime, Paul would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of support he's received.