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Fri Jul 26, 2019, 01:01 AM

Democratic Parties in Seven Oregon Counties Now Asking Senate President Peter Courtney To Step Down

On Monday, the Clatsop County Democratic Party unanimously voted that Peter Courtney should step down from his leadership position, citing his ineffective handling of sexual harassment at the capitol.

Clatsop follows six other county Democratic parties that have passed similar resolutions, including Multnomah, Clackamas, Yamhill, Jackson, Tillamook and Washington. Multnomah County approved its resolution most recently, on April 11, while Marion County will be voting on the same later this month.

Courtney's longtime role as Senate President has made him the most powerful man in Salem. But in recent years, he's been criticized heavily for failing to use that power to act on allegations of sexual harassment.

The resolution approved by the county parties references multiple instances of what it calls "ineffective handling" of harassment allegations: complaints from women at Western Oregon University, where Courtney served as assistant president, saying he'd failed to protect them from harassment despite a decade of complaints; a Bureau of Labor and Industries investigation reported by then-commisioner Brad Avakian, stating that Courtney's leadership allowed former Senator Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg) to get away with multiple instances of harassment; and examples from the same investigation that suggested a discrepancy between Courtney's treatment of men and women within his staff.

Read more: https://www.wweek.com/news/state/2019/07/25/democratic-parties-in-seven-oregon-counties-now-asking-senate-president-peter-courtney-to-step-down/
(Williamette Week)

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