A former lawmaker testified before an Oregon House committee on Wednesday claiming he developed PTSD as a result of being bullied by Democratic candidate for governor and former House Speaker Tina Kotek.
Another former lawmaker testified during the emotional hearing, which was held remotely via video, that the complainant, former Rep. Diego Hernandez, had recently attempted suicide.
Brian Clem, a former congressman, remarked haltingly, “He called me,” as he attempted to gather himself. “I visited his house. This was a month or so ago. His belt was broken. He would not be here if it weren’t for the belt breaking.
- Supporters Wish To Establish Oregon’s Hospital Capacity Technology As A National Tool
- As November 8 Draws Near, Officials Claim That Oregon Elections Are More Safe Than Ever
The drama occurs when Kotek, a progressive from Portland who served as Oregon’s longest-serving House speaker, faces off against Republican contender Christine Drazan in a close contest for governor. Because former experienced Democratic lawmaker and independent candidate Betsy Johnson are running this year in this blue state, the contest is more competitive.
For her side, Kotek charged Hernandez with deflecting.
Kotek wrote to the committee, “Rep. Hernandez submitted this baseless accusation a few days after an independent investigation revealed that he fostered a hostile work environment for women at the Oregon State Capitol.”
Hernandez, who was formerly regarded as a rising political star, complained to Kotek at the beginning of 2021, claiming that she had made it difficult for him to work there during the 2019 legislative session. However, Kotek was cleared following an independent examination by a lawyer appointed by the Legislature.
In her preliminary report, investigator Melissa Healy, a lawyer with a Portland business, stated that “the material is insufficient to corroborate Hernandez’s complaint.”
The report “is long overdue, but I’m satisfied by the unambiguous conclusion that these were unjustified claims,” Kotek wrote in a statement to the committee on October 3.
Hernandez testified before the committee that Kotek had vehemently threatened his bill, which would have granted driver’s licences to Oregonians who entered the country illegally unless he supported a different bill that would have reduced retirement benefits for state employees; the latter measure ultimately passed by the slimmest of margins.
“I believe that among all the idiotic things the speaker said and did, her threat to end my political career by ensuring I lose my next election was the one that went too far. Hernandez claimed, “She expressed this out of wrath. According to him, he has post-traumatic stress disorder.
According to Hernandez, “I’m still recuperating from PTSD and other traumas from my legislative experience with Tina. To say that her racism and bullying ruined my spirit would be an understatement.
He charged Healy of trying to normalise conduct via her report, whereby legislative leaders would be permitted to employ bullying, threats, intimidation, screaming, and tantrums in order to further their objectives.
Hernandez’s complaint was supposed to be investigated within 84 days in accordance with Statehouse regulations, but it took more than a year.
Clem, a Democrat like Hernandez, claimed he had begged Healy to finish her inquiry months earlier because he didn’t want it to influence the elections.
Days before the House was to vote on whether or not to remove Hernandez, who represented working-class neighbourhoods in east Portland, he announced in February 2021 that he was quitting. He was found to have fostered a hostile work environment for three women by a committee of MPs.
- Haystack To Gulls: Misnomers And Misnamed On The Oregon And Washington Coasts
- Measure 114 Is Opposed By The State Sheriffs’ Association, According To Deschutes Da Hummel
Hernandez’s complaint against Kotek, according to Kotek’s letter, “was a transparent attempt to deflect people from his own damaging activity.”
She requested that the committee support the conclusions of the independent investigator.
After the hearing on Wednesday, Kotek’s team declined to make any additional comments to journalists.
A further meeting of the House Committee on Conduct is required to decide whether to accept Healy’s report or to take Kotek’s case further.
Clem admitted that his fear of reprisal made him anxious about giving testimony. He claimed to be working on a project that may generate thousands of jobs in Oregon during his testimony from South Korea, referring to proposals to construct a shipping container terminal at the port of Coos Bay, where Clem was reared.
The following governor must approve that proposal, Clem said. “I don’t want my involvement (in the Kotek inquiry) to hurt that initiative,” she said.
You can check out www.focushillsboro.com for the latest news. If you have any queries or suggestions can put them in our comment section.