The ongoing saga of third-term state Rep. Diego Hernandez (D-East Portland) took two twists this week.
Facing an expulsion vote for violating House rules on sexual harassment and creating a hostile workplace, Hernandez filed a lawsuit Feb. 12 in Marion County Circuit Court seeking a temporary injunction to block the vote.
He's also seeking $1 million in damages from the Legislature for the infliction of "emotional distress" and the loss of his legislative pay—which Hernandez reckons to be $60,000 a year, including per diem allowances—and benefits.
Due to a pandemic-affected schedule, the House only meets in floor sessions on Tuesdays. House leadership announced the Feb. 16 session, where a vote on Hernandez's fate had been contemplated, would be canceled because of weather.
Meanwhile, the state requested that Hernandez's lawsuit be moved to federal court, where it will be heard in front of U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken at 1 pm on Feb. 18.