June 6th, 2014 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Politics

Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow Apologizes for Alleged Racist and Sexist Remarks: Updated

Documents report Ludlow made comments about Mexicans, "A-rabs" and a state legislator's "perky titties."

ludlow01Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow
A revealing and potentially embarassing personnel complaint against Clackamas County Chairman John Ludlow and Commissioner Tootie Smith has ended without discipline for either elected official, but documents air racially charged and sexually inappropriate language by Ludlow. 

The complaint also says Smith attacked the complainant, Jared Anderson, a Clackamas County lobbyist who worked for the county's Public and Government Affairs Department, saying he couldn't do his job well because he was a Democrat. 

Anderson, 35, who began working for the county in January 2011, filed a six-page complaint April 22, alleging age discrimination and violation of privacy. He also alleged Ludlow violated his privacy by talking about his personal medical information in speeches and public meetings.

Among the allegations in the complaints:

[]  The day of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Ludlow is quoted as dismissing speculation that the attack was the result of a domestic terrorist and saying the bomb was probably set off by "a damn A-rab."

[]  During a 2013 visit to meet a state legislator, Ludlow asked a police officer about a recent shooting, and if there had been any arrests. "I bet they were Mexicans," Ludlow is quoted as saying.

[]  Ludlow is quoted as saying former Clackamas County Commissioner Ann Lininger won an appointment to an open seat in the Oregon House because "she does a good job of sticking out her perky titties in people's faces." 

In a statement, Ludlow says he apologizes if any of the statements he made offended anyone. "I am saddened that this employee felt the need to publicly share selected, out-of-context bits of conversation," Ludlow wrote.

Anderson alleged that Ludlow exploited Anderson's health problems in a political attack Ludlow leveled against American Medical Response. At the time, Clackamas County was in a dispute over AMR's ambulance and emergency medical service contract. Anderson said AMR responded to a January medical call at county offices to aid him. He alleged Ludlow later talked publicly about AMR's response and Anderson's health. 

"Chair John Ludlow violated my reasonable expectation of privacy by both sharing my personal medical information/history with numerous outside parties and drawing attention to my incident to achieve his personal goals," Anderson wrote.

Anderson, who is gay, also accused Smith of homophobia and disparaging the county's lobbying staff for being Democrats. 

Clackamas County hired Dana Sullivan, a top Portland employment lawyer, to investigate Anderson's complaint.

On May 29, Clackamas County Department of Employment Services Director Nancy Drury wrote to Anderson, according to documents WW obtained under a public records request, and told him Sullivan's investigation had mostly cleared Smith and Ludlow.

"Briefly, Ms. Sullivan concluded that some inappropriate conduct occurred, including comments about protected classes of individuals, but did not find supporting evidence that unlawful discrimination or harassment occurred," Drury wrote.

Clackamas County denied WW's request for a copy of Sullivan's investigative report. In the wake of the county's response, however, Anderson left his position June 2.

Updated at 1:10 pm: Anderson received a $43,775 severance payment and agreed to release the county from all claims.

He did not respond to calls seeking comment, nor did Commissioner Smith.

Ludlow provided WW the following statement about Anderson's complaint:


 
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