Ex-Legislative Equity Officer Sues Oregon For $1.2 Million

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man who was tasked with fielding complaints of harassment at the Oregon Capitol is suing the state, saying he was pushed out of the job after reporting serious problems in his office and in the upper ranks of legislative administration.

Nate Monson resigned from his position as the Capitol’s legislative equity officer in June, after two months in the job.

On his way out, Monson wrote a memo claiming the person who had preceded him in the job ignored complaints, did not keep appropriate records, and slowed investigations into accusations of harassment.

Lawmakers who oversee harassment complaints for the Legislature responded to Monson’s claims with accusations that Monson had mischaracterized some elements of his resume when applying for the job. They suggested he resigned in the face of assurances he would otherwise be fired.

Monson says he was subjected to inappropriate retaliation. He’s suing for unspecified damages to account for lost income and compensate him for emotional distress, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

Senate President Peter Courtney, former House Speaker Tina Kotek, and four lawmakers who have overseen the harassment complaint process are named in the lawsuit — along with Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle, and the Legislature’s top attorney and human resources director.

All of them either declined to comment Monday or didn't respond to an inquiry from the news outlet.