Portland City Hall is Seeking New Management: The city of Portland is putting out the "help wanted" sign for a remarkable number of top management positions after three city bureau directors announced their resignations in just over a week. The latest: city budget director Andrew Scott, who is leaving to become the deputy chief operating officer of Metro after 15 years with the city. He follows Parks & Recreation director Mike Abbaté, who was pushed out by City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, and transportation chief Leah Treat, who is leaving for a San Francisco-based consulting firm with offices in Portland. There are now at least seven bureau director slots that need to be filled with permanent directors (though some have interim leadership). An eighth director left after his position was eliminated.
Disabilities Watchdog Hangs Up His Spurs: Disability Rights Oregon announced the retirement of its longtime executive director, Bob Joondeph, last week. A federally funded watchdog, DRO has won significant victories under Joondeph's three decades of leadership: the closures of Dammasch State Hospital (1995) and the Fairview Training Center (2000), where mentally ill and developmentally disabled Oregonians, respectively, were warehoused in deplorable conditions. In 2015, the organization also won a landmark class action case against the state of Oregon on behalf of disabled workers who were illegally segregated and underpaid in so-called sheltered workshops. "The vision of the disability rights movement is of a world where everyone can participate," Joondeph says. "It's been my privilege to be part of this quest for social justice."
Real Estate Firm Reaps Rewards from Wapato: Multnomah County paid the real estate firm CBRE a $195,000 commission for the recent $5 million sale of the Wapato Jail. Although critics have raised questions about the firm's hiring—CBRE employs Trevor Kafoury, a cousin of County Chairwoman Deborah Kafoury—records show CBRE won a competitive bidding process in March 2017. Deborah Kafoury disclosed the relationship and was not involved in CBRE's selection. Under its five-year contract, the firm will also represent the county on three other properties recently declared surplus and placed on the market: the downtown courthouse, the county health building and an eastside office building, which have a combined assessed market value of $58.3 million.
McGee, Dickson Arraigned: Charles McGee, founder and former CEO of the Black Parent Initiative, was arraigned in Multnomah County Circuit Court on May 11 on sexual assault charges a day after his co-defendant, Portland banker Aubré Dickson. McGee, 32, posted $126,000 bail and pleaded not guilty to seven felony counts related to a May 10, 2012, incident in which he and Dickson allegedly sexually assaulted Erica Naito-Campbell ("No Way Out," WW, Feb. 7, 2018). Dickson earlier also pleaded not guilty. Both men will next appear in court June 29.