At Portland City Hall, nothing succeeds like failure

The person in charge of the Portland bureau that sent $1,468,775.59 to a fraudulent account a few months ago is leaving her cushy City Hall job after five years. And she's collecting a cool six months' salary plus insurance as she walks out the door.

Exiting Portland Housing Bureau Director Shannon... Callahan spent five years leading the city’s response to the region’s affordable housing crisis. A press release announcing her departure stated the city had developed nearly 6,000 affordable housing units over Callahan’s tenure. But her exit comes as a homelessness crisis continues to roil Portland, and the number of people living on the street is far more than the number of housing units available to them.

I first read about this in the Weed the other day. Their report included this howler:

“As I reflect on the last five years, I am proud and honored to have been able to work with you on the singular purpose to provide Portlanders safe, stable and affordable housing,” she wrote. “The time has come, though, for me to move on to new challenges and opportunities. Quite simply, I have accomplished what I set out in my time at the bureau.”

The fact that she got only a half year's pay seems telling. Usually when these geniuses move on, they get more:

The city often grants severance agreements to bureau directors in return for a discreet exit from City Hall. Civic Life Bureau Director Suk Rhee, who resigned in May 2021 after a devastating outside report on the department’s workplace culture, received a little more than $178,000 to resign — the equivalent of one year’s salary. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Andrea Durbin resigned in March amid cascading problems within her department and similarly received one year’s salary — $197,000. Portland’s chief administrative officer Tom Rinehart took home $219,000 after his ouster.

Callahan, meanwhile, is leaving with an agreement equivalent to half of her salary. That brings the city’s total in payments this year to bureau directors on the way out to over half a million dollars. 

But they're so worth it. Right? 



  1. I have never even heard of the Civic Life Bureau, who’s director apparently makes $178K a year?! I’m curious how much of the city’s tax revenue just goes to admin-level bureaucrats who are almost entirely worthless.

    1. Should she be in prison for fraud???

    2. Correction- I meant shouldn't she be
      in prison for fraud.


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