A former candidate for the Oregon Supreme Court filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Portland on March 22, alleging that his employer, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services, improperly released a damaging report about him to WW last year. The Oregonian first reported the lawsuit.

The plaintiff, Van Pounds, worked for DCBS in securities regulation.

Van Pounds
Van Pounds

Last year, after Pounds filed to run for a seat on the Oregon Supreme Court, WW filed a request under Oregon's Public Records Law, seeking information about him from DCBS.

That request yielded a 2015 report that found Pounds' DCBS colleagues were critical of his work as the agency's chief enforcement officer.

"Overwhelmingly, employees do not trust Van and do not feel he is an effective manager," wrote Jay Wayland, a human resources manager for the department, in the May 26, 2015, report. "Employees do not ask Van for direction at this point because they feel Van's response usually lacks clarity and value."

Pounds said he was running for the Supreme Court in part to protest the practice of governor's appointing judges to the bench of there being few genuinely contested judicial elections. Pounds lost to incumbent Justice Meagan Flynn (whom Brown appointed to the court in 2017) by a margin of 74 percent to 26 percent.

Pounds is seeking $1.05 million in damages from the state, for "throwing him under the bus." A spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Justice, which defends the state in lawsuits, could not be reached for comment.