Oregon Lawmakers Hear Allegations of Bullying Against a Governor Candidate

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Salem, Ore. An ex-lawmaker told an Oregon House committee on Wednesday that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek made him feel scared.

Another former politician said that the person who filed the complaint, former Rep. Diego Hernandez, tried to kill himself recently. Brian Clem said, “He called me” and “I went to see him.” A month ago. Broken belt If the belt hadn’t broken, he wouldn’t be here.”

Kotek, a progressive from Portland who has been Oregon’s House speaker for the longest time, is running against Christine Drazan for governor. Betsy Johnson, a former Democrat who is now running as an independent, is also running for office in this blue state.

Hernandez deflected, said Kotek. Rep. Hernandez made this false accusation after an investigator found that he made the Oregon State Capitol a hostile place for women to work, Kotek wrote.

Hernandez, who used to be a rising star in politics, said that Kotek made it hard for him to do his job during the 2019 legislative session. But Kotek was cleared by a private lawyer hired by the Legislature.

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An investigator wrote, “There is not enough evidence to support Hernandez’s claim.” Kotek said, “The investigation is long overdue, but I’m happy with the clear conclusion that these claims were false.”

Hernandez told the committee that Kotek threatened his bill to give driver’s licenses to Oregonians who came to the U.S. illegally if he didn’t support another bill to cut retirement benefits for public workers.

“Of all the bad things the speaker said and did, it was when she said she would ruin my political career and make sure I lost my next election that she crossed the line. “She was mad,” said Hernandez. He’s got PTSD.

Hernandez: “Tina caused me to have PTSD and other traumas that I’m still getting over.” Her meanness and bullying broke my heart.

Oregon Lawmakers Hear Allegations of Bullying Against a Governor Candidate

He said that Healy was trying to make bullying, threats, intimidation, screaming, and outbursts by legislative leaders acceptable. It was thought that the investigation into Hernandez’s claim would take 84 days, but it took more than a year.

Clem, who is a Democrat like Hernandez, begged Healy months ago to end her investigation so it wouldn’t affect the election.

Hernandez quit in February 2021, just a few days before the House was going to vote on whether or not to get rid of him. Three women said that he made the workplace hostile.

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Kotek said that Hernandez’s accusation of her was a way for him to hide the fact that he had been acting badly. She asked the committee to agree with the results of the investigation.

After Wednesday’s session, Kotek’s campaign didn’t do anything. The House Committee on Conduct must meet again to decide whether to accept Healy’s findings or take action against Kotek.

Before he testified, Clem was afraid of being punished. He testified from South Korea, where he was working on a project that could create thousands of jobs in Oregon. He was talking about plans for a shipping container terminal near Coos Bay, where he grew up.

Clem: “That project needs to be okayed by the next governor.” “I don’t want my work on the Kotek project to hurt it.”

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