Washington County employee says she found noose in office - KPTV - FOX 12

Employee reports noose in government office, Washington Co. investigating

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HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

Washington County is conducting a human resources investigation after an employee said she discovered a noose inside a government office.

Vanessa Savage provided Fox 12 with a photo of the note and noose she said she found in the Department of Housing Services Thursday morning.

The photo shows a small noose taped to a piece of paper, which names another woman who works in the office.

"[Employee] is hereby terminated for dereliction of duty in that she willfully and with malice failed to protect her supervisor's office from vandalism during his absence," the note reads.

Savage said the note was taped to the cubicle of a third woman, her supervisor, who is African-American.

"We are public servants who work with a diverse population of people and even if it was just in jest, just the callousness of doing something so insensitive and cruel was just devastating to me," said Savage.

She brought the items to the department director on Thursday, then later left work because she felt uncomfortable, said Savage.

"Regarding this incident, the employee's allegations have been received and are being thoroughly investigated by our Human Resources Division," read a statement released by county spokesman Philip Bransford. "While the matter is under investigation we will not be able to comment further except to say that Washington County is committed to providing a productive work environment for all employees which is fair, civil, positive and respectful of each person's dignity and is free from all forms of discrimination or harassment."

Bransford said all employees must take anti-harassment training within their first six months on the job, then again every few years.

Washington County's website also mentions a new diversity program for employees, which held a session in November.

Savage thinks more diversity training is needed.

"I'm hoping they will come to the table now and see why we need this," said Savage. "Because there's something wrong with the environment in our offices if somebody thinks this is okay."

Savage stayed home from work on Friday. She has not decided when she will return.

Bransford said no other employees have requested to take leave or have been required to take leave because of the incident.

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