The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners this afternoon released a 15-page investigative report (PDF) conducted in response to a workplace complaint filed by a now-former county lobbyist against County Chair John Ludlow and Commissioner Tootie Smith.
As WW reported last week, the complaint, filed by former county staff lobbyist Jared Anderson in April, alleged that he Smith discriminated against him because of his age (he is 35) and sexual orientation (he is gay). He also charged that Ludlow improperly shared personal information about Anderson's health.
After an investigation by Dana Sullivan, a Portland employment lawyer, cleared Ludlow and Smith of wrongdoing. Following that result, Anderson left the county and received a $43,775 severance payment.
Initially, the county rejected requests from WW and The Oregonian for a copy of Sullivan's investigative report but today, county officials changed their mind and released the report.
It's easy to see why they didn't want the public to read it.
Although Sullivan found that Smith had not discriminated against Anderson because of his relative youthfulness, Sullivan's wrote that Smith, who is running for Congress in Oregon's Fifth District, probably wasn't telling the truth.
"In her interview, Commissioner Smith attributed references to Mr. Lyons [another county lobbyist] and Mr. Anderson being young and inexperienced to others," Sullivan wrote. "I did not find this assertion credible."
One of the most inflammatory accusations Anderson made is that Ludlow attributed former County Commissioner Ann Lininger's getting appointed to an open Oregon House seat was LIninger's alleged
"sticking out her perky titties out in people's faces."
Ludlow told Sullivan Anderson's accusation was wrong. "Chair Ludlow denied making any remark about former Commissioner Lininger," Sullivan wrote.
But Sullivan didn't believe him, either. "I did find there is ample substantiation to conclude that Chair Ludlow made the alleged remark about former Commissioner Lininger," she wrote.
After releasing the investigative file, the commission voted unanimously to endorse a public statement Chair Ludlow read affirming the commission's commitment to diversity and inclusion:
Here's that statement:
The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners is committed to assuring diversity and inclusion among the County workforce and in all of our dealings with our citizens and the public we serve. For more than a decade Clackamas County has worked diligently to foster and develop a workplace that reflects diversity, equity and inclusion as core values of our public service mission. These values are reflected in the fabric of our workforce. Our leadership team includes a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director who reports to our County Administrator. The County has in place diversity councils designed and empowered to advise and consult on diversity-related matters in the workplace and in our public service. We recognize that our journey toward reaching these objectives comprises many steps â and sometimes missteps. We are constantly learning and growing together in common pursuit of this important objective. _______________________________