Report: Fired city manager in Oregon City accused of racist rema - KPTV - FOX 12

Report: Fired city manager in Oregon City accused of racist remarks

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David Frasher (Photo from City of Oregon City website) David Frasher (Photo from City of Oregon City website)
OREGON CITY, OR (KPTV) -

Two Oregon City police officers said the city manager made racist statements when describing a recent vacation to Romania, according to documents released by the city.

The Oregon City Commission voted to fire David Frasher as city manager this week. A release from the city states the commission "lost confidence" in Frasher.

Frasher was named city manager in 2010 and served as an at-will employee of the commission.

He was placed on paid administrative leave in mid-August following a complaint lodged against him. A release from the city states the complaint was "not the basis for the commission's decision" to fire him.

That complaint, according to documents released by the city, was sent from the police chief to the city's human resources director on Aug. 11 after two officers reported the city manager making offensive statements.

According to the police chief's letter, the officers reported that Frasher told them "there was very little crime in Romania because everybody was white" and "black people are lazy and that they do not have any black people in Romania."

The city launched an investigation, conducted by the law firm of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt.

Interviews with witnesses and Frasher are outlined in a 182-page document detailing the investigation.

Frasher told investigators that during the conversation in question, he was repeating what a driver had told him in Romania, not stating his own views or opinions.

"I was sharing, though, the perspective of this driver which was very narrow, jaundiced kind of view of the world I thought," he told investigators.

When asked if the entire problem was based on a misunderstanding, Frasher replied, "absolutely," according to the report.

Before other city leaders were informed of the letter, the investigation report states Frasher contacted the mayor, a commissioner and a colleague in city leadership to tell his version of the story.

"The mayor and the commission, once they were able to determine why Frasher was calling, told Frasher that it was inappropriate to deal with the matter in that way," the report states.

The report concludes, "I finally come down on the side of accepting Mr. Frasher's story, even if I do not give him much credit for understanding why, even accepting his version, he was in the wrong."

A release from the city states a tort claim notice was sent to the city by Frasher's lawyers suggesting that litigation is likely to be filed over this situation.

The commission declined to pay more than $400,000 in severance to Frasher, which is called for in his 2013 employment contract. City officials said that contract is void and unenforceable due to "legal reasons."

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