Oregon Health and Science University's vice president of human resources, Dan Forbes, resigned from his position yesterday after the union expressed concerns that he was also behind a social media troll account.
Two days earlier, on Aug. 5, another OHSU employee, Patrick Frengle, was removed from the management bargaining team after admitting to creating fake Twitter accounts under the names Aanus McFadden and Roy Vragina to troll the union and spread false information about dues. Frengle is OHSU's strategic financial consultant.
The union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 328, surfaced allegations that members of OHSU's bargaining team were behind fake troll accounts on Aug. 5 in a blog post.
In it, the union named Frengle and said it suspected there was also "another questionable user." That person, they now allege, was Forbes.
"We also suspect that one other member of management's bargaining team may have participated in the trolling to some degree," the union wrote in a follow-up blog.
Ross Grami, the union's spokesperson, says union organizers found connections between Forbes and a Twitter and Facebook account called Peter Pumpkin Eater. Grami adds that during a call to alert Forbes that the union planned to go public with its allegations against Fengle, the Peter Pumpkin Eater account was deactivated.
Grami says the Peter Pumpkin Eater account frequently interacted with the union on Twitter, in one instance mocking it for not filling chairs at a bargaining meeting.
Yesterday, after Frengle was removed from the bargaining team, Grami says the union requested that OHSU also pull Forbes from the team.
"My guess is at that point he either copped to it or had not been honest about his involvement from the beginning," Grami says.
In an apology statement released to the union last night, OHSU's president, Danny Jacobs, said that Forbes had "resigned from his position effective immediately," and that he would no longer participate in any labor contract negotiations.
"He has expressed his remorse for his role in this activity," Jacobs added. "I am very sorry. Our employees are truly our best asset. OHSU remains committed to bargaining in good faith with integrity and transparency in the bargaining process."
Grami says the union plans to file an unfair labor practice complaint with the state today.