May 20th, 2009 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, City Hall, CLEAN UP

Former Mayoral Spokesman Wade Nkrumah Files Notice of Tort Claim Against Mayor Sam Adams and City


Wade Nkrumah, who resigned as Mayor Sam Adams' spokesman in January, has filed a notice of tort claim (PDF) against the mayor and the City of Portland alleging Adams "damaged his business reputation" when he told KATU that Nkrumah resigned because the job was "not what he signed up for in terms of stress."

Nkrumah, a former long-time reporter for The Oregonian, is seeking more than $162,000 in his claim along with attorney's fees.

The paperwork filed May 14 by Nkrumah's attorney Michael Hanlon, puts the city on notice that Nkrumah intends to file a claim. In that notice, Nkrumah says he resigned from the spokesman's job Jan. 26, telling Adams both in a letter and in person that the reason for the resignation was that the mayor had lied to him twice about Adams' relationship with Beau Breedlove.

Nkrumah says the first lie came in the Jan. 15 interview WW had with Adams in the presence of Nkrumah and Adams staffer Amy Ruiz when Adams denied any "sexual contact" or "sexual relationship of any kind" with Beau Breedlove.

Nkrumah says a second lie came in a meeting Adams had on Jan. 22 attended by 20-plus staffers at the home of chief of staff Tom Miller. Nkrumah says he asked Adams at that meeting if there had been any "flirting" or "touching" before Breedlove turned 18.

"Adams answered unequivocally no," Nkrumah says in the claim, noting that Adams' answer was contradicted by subsequent news stories that quoted Breedlove saying he and the mayor had kissed twice when Breedlove was 17, once in a City Hall bathroom.

Nkrumah's claim goes on to say that Adams was "extremely nervous" at his Jan. 26 meeting with him about what Nkrumah would say publicly about his resignation. Nkrumah says Miller and he agreed later that Nkrumah would respond to all inquiries about the resignation with a "no comment" and that Miller would say he does "not comment on personnel matters."

However, Adams told KATU on Jan. 27 that Nkrumah resigned because the job was "not what he signed up for in terms of stress."

"In fact, when Claimant resigned, and Adams stated that stress was a reason, Claimant made it clear to Adams that 'stress' was not an issue," according to the notice of tort claim. "Rather it was Adams' lying as a public official (with ethical obligations to avoid even the appearance of impropriety and a duty to treat the office of mayor as a public trust) that created intolerable working conditions. Adams' continued issuance of false statements to the electorate made it impossible to continue in good conscience as his spokesperson. As Claimant informed Adams: 'The reason I am resigning is because of the lies."

A message left this afternoon seeking comment from mayoral spokesman Roy Kaufmann was not immediately returned.
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