Multnomah Co. deputy claims sheriff created ‘hostile work enviro - KPTV - FOX 12

Multnomah Co. deputy claims sheriff created ‘hostile work environment’

Posted: Updated: Feb 03, 2016 10:36 AM
Sheriff Dan Staton (Courtesy: Chief Deputy Linda Yankee) Sheriff Dan Staton (Courtesy: Chief Deputy Linda Yankee)
Multnomah Co. Chief Deputy Linda Yankee (Courtesy: Linda Yankee) Multnomah Co. Chief Deputy Linda Yankee (Courtesy: Linda Yankee)

Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton is under serious scrutiny after a member of his staff accused him of sexual harassment and inappropriate comments Wednesday morning.

Chief Deputy Linda Yankee filed a tort claim against Staton after he created what she called a ‘hostile work environment’ for her and her other coworkers, beginning back in November 2014.

Yankee said in the tort claim that Staton allegedly touched her inappropriately. She said Staton would often hug her, while he only shook hands with his other male coworkers.

Yankee also said Sheriff Staton made frequent inappropriate comments towards her and her other coworkers, calling them ‘stupid’ and even referring to one woman as a ‘blond bimbo.’

The claim said Staton would often make sexually crude remarks about both men and women in his office.

The tort claim also said Chief Deputy Yankee was demoted last November, which Yankee claims was based in part on her gender.

Yankee said that the conflict was not based on gender alone.

According to the tort claim, Yankee and Staton had had some disagreements over budgets, resulting in heated conversations and verbal berating.

Yankee reports at one point, Staton allegedly said he would ‘slit the throats’ of certain members of his staff over budget disagreements.

Yankee is the highest ranking female officer in the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

According to her attorney Sean Riddell, Yankee is currently on medical leave and is not expected back until March. 

Riddell said Yankee no longer reports directly to Sheriff Staton. 

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury requested Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum investigate the claims. Staton issued a statement Wednesday night saying, "I welcome the opportunity for an outside inquiry. I am unable to comment on the pending employee tort claim, however, I believe an outside review will result in a more complete response to all of the issues involved."

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