Forget it, Nate, it's Salem

Here's an important story sitting behind the Oregonian paywall of pity: The Oregon Legislature is such a dysfunctional place to work that the guy they brought in to clean up harassment of staff members by the elected politicians has quit in a huff after less than 10 weeks on the job. 

Nate Monson, who held the job of acting legislative equity officer, stepped down June 16....

Monson said that when he took the job in April, there were no case files, minimal records of who had completed anti-harassment training, and unanswered emails from people who had waited months to hear back from the office.

“There is a track record of individuals reporting and cases being unheard,” wrote Monson, without detailing the nature of the unheard cases. “The consequences of this office’s failures are astonishingly serious.”

He also suggested that some complaints from people working in the Capitol were not being taken seriously.

“I noticed a dismissive culture in the building of staff members. ‘They are crazy’ was said a lot,” Monson said. “I would encourage accountability of all appointing authorities, managers, and members. No one should be dismissed on their case for ‘being crazy.’”

What? An outfit run by Peter Courtney and Tina Kotek is a bad place to work, and the office set up to fix the problems is a disaster? I'm shocked, shocked, I tell you. 

OPB has a free story here.

But Monson also says lawmakers who control the process, the chairs of the Joint Conduct Committee, were at times unconcerned with problems he raised.

“When I started, people would say, ‘This place is crazy,’” Monson told OPB. “I felt like they warned me this is a terrible job.”

One aspect of the story not to be missed is the big bucks being paid out to Portland law firms to do the investigative work for the dysfunctional complaint office. I remember when we had a state Department of Justice and a state Bureau of Labor and Industries. They were quite a bit cheaper.