City officials investigating culture of hazing at PBOT - KPTV - FOX 12

City officials investigating culture of hazing at PBOT

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Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman (KPTV) Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman (KPTV)

City officials are launching a new investigation into a systematic culture of hazing at the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

FOX 12 spoke with Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman Thursday after a new article in the Willamette Week described years of violence, bigotry, hazing and bullying at PBOT.

The story claims that the manager of a crew that works on sewer lines hazed new employees by shooting objects at them with a compressor gun, making them pick up food off the floor and bounding them with duct tape.

After a personnel investigation was completed in January, Saltzman says he signed off on a disciplinary letter and that employee was transferred.

But Saltzman says he did not know the most disturbing allegations about the crew manager until the article came out.

“My tolerance policy is I have no tolerance for this type of bullying and hazing behavior,” said Saltzman. “There’s no room for it and among other things, I will be making sure the employees of the Bureau of Transportation understand that we’ll have the appropriate human resource policies in place so that there’s no doubt in the future - should this behavior occur - there will be swift and sure consequences.”

Saltzman says the new investigation will likely end with some PBOT employees being fired.

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