Report: Kotek didn’t violate workplace rules as Speaker

September 30, 2022 GMT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A draft report of an investigation into the work environment created by the Democratic candidate for Oregon governor when she was House Speaker has found that Tina Kotek did not break workplace rules when pressuring another lawmaker.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Kotek had been accused of overseeing a hostile work environment by threatening a colleague’s career when she was in charge of the Oregon House.

An investigator found that the former state representative’s claims Kotek as House Speaker threatened professional consequences if he would not back a key bill are supported by evidence,

But a draft investigative report, obtained by OPB, said Kotek’s conduct in that conversation with former state Rep. Diego Hernandez did not rise to the level of workplace rules violations.

The draft report could change. It is consistent with what Kotek has said that she didn’t do anything wrong when pressuring Hernandez to vote yes on a bill on public employee pensions.

Kotek faces Republican Christine Drazan and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson in November.

The report says Kotek said she did tell Hernandez “it would be difficult for (her) to support him personally in the future” if he didn’t vote for the pension bill.

But the investigator, private attorney Melissa Healy, decided that exchange was typical for politics and not a violation of workplace rules.