Tort claim alleges Multnomah Co. sheriff 'ostracized' longtime e - KPTV - FOX 12

Tort claim alleges Multnomah Co. sheriff 'ostracized' longtime employee

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Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton (KPTV file image) Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton (KPTV file image)
(KPTV file image) (KPTV file image)

For the second time this month, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton is accused of creating a "hostile work environment" for employees.

Attorneys for retired Lt. Brent Ritchie filed a tort claim Thursday.

It alleges that Staton "ostracized" Ritchie due to his role in an audit on the use of force in the enforcement and corrections divisions.

The tort claim states that Ritchie, in his role as executive assistant to Staton, began work on the audit in early 2015.

A draft of the final report was presented to Staton on Aug. 26, 2015, according to the tort claim, and included information that force is used against black inmates in Multnomah County jails at a higher rate than other inmates.

Attorneys for Ritchie allege that the day after presenting the draft of the report, Ritchie's office was moved to another building and he was stripped of his job duties and responsibilities.

Ritchie alleges that he was left with no other option but to retire on Nov. 20, 2015, when his planned retirement date was Dec. 20, 2019.

Ritchie began working at the sheriff's office in July 1990.

The tort claim states Ritchie intends to seek compensation for lost wages, loss of career advancement, emotional distress, attorney fees and punitive damage.

Earlier this month, Staton reached a settlement with Chief Deputy Linda Yankee, who also filed a tort claim alleging Staton would frequently make sexual, sexist, profane and derogatory comments about county workers.

Yankee, as part of the settlement, was put on paid administrative leave with a pay increase until she retires in June 2017.

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