This week Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced that her office had settled the complaint of Erious Johnson, a senior Assistant Attorney General who had been racially profiled by investigators at the agency.
The settlement offered to Mr. Johnson required that he resign his position as a Senior Assistant Attorney General. The Attorney General issued a statement that it wasn't her decision, but that Oregon's Department of Administrative Services required that any settlement include Mr. Johnson's resignation.
We flatly reject that statement as an obvious deflection. Attorney General Rosenblum is a constitutional officer and is responsible for the decisions of her office. We also note that the employee who conducted the racial profliing of Mr. Johnson was reinstated this week by AG Rosenblum.
"The mandatory resignation of a Civil Rights lawyer required by Attorney General as a condition for settling his complaint for racial profiling by General Rosenblum's office is extremely troubling. As Oregon's top lawyer, General Rosenblum knows that this such sharp practice has a chilling effect on employment rights. She is in charge of that agency, she is Oregon's top lawyer. It was within her power to make Mr. Johnson feel safe and welcome him back to her office. Instead, she terminated his career with the agency. Other employees will take notice," said Rob Harris, a member of the IPO State Council.
"Mr. Johnson is certainly capable of fighting his own battles, but he deserves to know that others are with him. It is disappointing but unsurprising that no elected Democrats or Republicans have spoken out on his behalf since this settlement was announced. Democrats are too disciplined to criticize one of their own, even when they are clearly in the wrong, and Republicans apparently don't see the need to support a civil rights leader with ties to #BlackLivesMatter. It's a pretty good case-in-point for one of the ways that our political system is dysfunctional and why we need more voices in the process." said Party Secretary, Sal Peralta