Complaint against Ludlow and Smith investigated
Clackamas County commissioners Thursday released a full investigative report on a complaint of discrimination made by a former county employee against County Commissioners John Ludlow and Tootie Smith.
Jared Anderson, 35, a government affairs specialist in the countys Department of Public and Government Affairs (PGA), filed the complaint with the countys Department of Employee Services on April 21.
In the complaint, Anderson accused Ludlow of violating his right to privacy and making sexist and racist remarks regarding women and racial minorities in front of Government Affairs staff members.
One of several examples given in the complaint to support the charge concerned a graphic remark Ludlow allegedly made on Feb. 11, 2014 concerning former Commissioner Ann Lininger, who was appointed to fill Chris Garretts House seat.
In the same complaint, Anderson claimed that Smith subjected him to discrimination and a hostile work environment based on his age, sexual orientation and his political party affiliation after she found out he was gay.
Andersons job with the county involved serving as a lobbyist in the state capitol.
Anderson claimed that after he told Smith that he and his partner, Joe, had adopted a 4-year-old boy, Smith began to make untruthful remarks about my experience/performance and began advocating for a contract lobbyist. . .
Shortly after receiving the complaint, the county asked Dana Sullivan, a Portland employment attorney, to conduct an investigation into the charges. In the course of her investigation, Sullivan interviewed Anderson, Ludlow, Smith, PGA Director Gary Schmidt and others, and collected documentation and audio recordings.
According to her final report, Sullivan found that Ludlow did make sexual and racial remarks that were offensive, but that the offensive language did not rise to the level of creating a hostile work environment.
As to the charge of privacy violation, Sullivan found that Ludlows statements do not violate Andersons constitutional right to privacy,
But Sullivan did find that Ludlows inclusion of details regarding Mr. Andersons medical emergency in public statements made at a legislative dinner reflect a lack of sensitivity.
Also in her report, Sullivan noted that Smith made statements that in her view, the countys lobbyists were too young and inexperienced. Sullivan found, however, that Smiths conduct towards Anderson did not constitute discrimination. According to Sullivans report, Smith denied that knowing Anderson is gay impacted her perception of his work in Salem or his capabilities.
In a written statement, Ludlow apologized. While an independent investigator found that none of the alleged statements would have created a hostile work environment, they were embarrassing nonetheless, and I want to apologize to that employee and to any others that were offended by things I have said, Ludlow said.
Smith also provided a written statement regarding the allegations.
I fully cooperated with the investigation of the complaint, and, at the end of the investigation, the investigator concluded that Mr. Andersons assertions were incorrect. . . Smith wrote. I continue to support our county employees, and I feel deeply and apologize for any splatter effect the complaint and additional comments have had on innocent employees and citizens here at the county.