WashCo to discuss ’emotional distress’ accusations against Chair

Washington County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Two Washington County commissioners called for an executive session to discuss findings from a KOIN 6 News investigation that revealed accusations that the county’s highest-elected leader created a toxic work environment.

A KOIN 6 News investigation revealed how Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington treated her chief of staff – who is now being paid tens of thousands of tax dollars not to come to work.

The investigation also found Harrington’s behavior is part of a pattern, and on Tuesday two Washington County commissioners took action.

“I’m going to be requesting an executive session in regarding personnel issues and the KOIN 6 investigative report last night and I’ve asked our legal counsel to give me guidelines on that,” Washington County Commissioner Jerry Willey said.

The two commissioners asked for and got an executive session for Monday for the entire commission to discuss the findings of the investigation.

Monday night, KOIN 6 News revealed that Harrington agreed to a settlement for tens of thousands of dollars after being accused of berating her chief of staff.

KOIN 6 News also found that Harrington was accused of “creating a climate of fear, hostility, anxiety, emotional distress,” when she previously served on the Metro Council.

Harrington declined an interview with KOIN 6 News about the accusations — calling it a personnel matter.

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