Gov. Brown probes state agency hostile workplace allegations

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has decided to bring in an outside investigator to look into allegations that the state’s economic development agency has created a hostile work environment for women and older employees.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Wednesday that the allegations were contained in a letter forwarded to Brown earlier this month by Dana Sullivan, a Portland labor attorney representing the Oregon Business Development Department’s employees.

The allegations, first reported by Willamette Week, also include accusations of program and budgetary abuses.

Bryan Hockaday, a spokesman for Brown, said the governor is taking the concerns seriously. Many of the allegations target agency director Chris Harder, who was hired by Brown from the Portland Development Commission.

Harder said he was “surprised and disheartened at the issues raised in the letter.”