Legislature objects to subpoenas in sexual harassment cas

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A law firm hired by Oregon’s Legislature has formally objected to subpoenas for documents sought by the state’s labor commissioner who had accused legislative leaders of permitting a culture of sexual harassment in the state Capitol.

In a letter to members and staff of the legislative assembly, lawyer Edwin Harnden said the firm filed objections Friday to the subpoenas because they seek confidential information about people who came forward in harassment complaints and asked to remain anonymous. Another objection is the subpoenas are overbroad.

Harnden said the Legislature respond to Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian’s complaint on August 31.

Avakian on Aug. 1 accused fellow Democrats, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek, of allowing a sexually hostile environment at the Capitol and being slow to protect women from Republican Sen. Jeff Kruse. Kruse resigned earlier this year.