Commissioner Smith says Multnomah Co. chair called her inappropr - KPTV - FOX 12

Commissioner Smith says Multnomah Co. chair called her inappropriate name after meeting

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MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

A Multnomah County Commission Board meeting became heated on Thursday between County Commissioner Loretta Smith and Chair Deborah Kafoury.

Smith says Kafoury called her an inappropriate name after the meeting.

During Thursday's meeting, Kafoury brings up the issue of who would replace her if she was unable to do her job, and says she would choose the current COO of Multnomah County.

Smith speaks up and says she is concerned her choice would not be able to stay impartial. 

Video of the meeting shows one man making a public comment and once he finishes, Kafoury called for a vote but Smith cuts in to ask another question.

The video then shows Smith and Kafoury talking over each other several times until Kafoury gavelled the meeting to a close.

According to Smith, after the meeting adjourned and cameras stopped rolling, Kafoury called her an inappropriate name.

Smith released the following statement after the meeting:

Today in Council I experienced something I never thought I would have to face from another elected official.

During a board discussion I raised legitimate concerns, as is my right. I sought an opinion from the County Attorney, as is my right.

Instead of allowing my concerns to be heard and my questions answered the Chair interrupted and spoke over me several times. After she gavelled out, over my objections, she took this overtly hostile behavior to another level.

Calling me a "b****" in the public sphere is unbecoming of the office she holds. This term is offensive not only because it was uttered in Council Chamber, but also because it is racially charged.

This is not how we should be conducting business at Multnomah County.

FOX 12 spoke with Smith who says she was very offended by what happened.

"For me it is disrespectful, it is not language that you expect from a chairwoman in a council room. The whole crowd, they were like whoa. They gasped, they couldn't believe it," said Smith.

FOX 12 reached out to Kafoury who sent the following statement:

Today, Commissioner Loretta Smith attacked the ethics and integrity of the COO of Multnomah County, who was also the former Chair of this Board. I have watched Commissioner Smith attack staff across Multnomah County, and today, I was deeply offended by her egregious accusations which led to a regrettable comment. For that, I sincerely apologize. It was unprofessional and unbecoming for me to express my feelings in the way and manner I did. At that moment, faced with her behavior, I felt the responsibility to defend the County's staff. 

Smith told FOX 12 she has not yet received an apology from Kafoury.

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