PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams was aware he was facing complaints about his behavior before he resigned, city officials confirmed Friday.

In a sudden departure on Tuesday from his role as current Mayor Ted Wheeler’s director of strategic innovations, Adams said he stepped down for health issues, but Wheeler and city officials said that was a lie.

In a statement to KOIN 6 News Friday, Adams recalled how things ended with Wheeler.

“I provided a quick summary of my health issues and offered to resign, which he said, ‘OK,'” Adams said.

However, Wheeler said that’s not how things ended.

Instead, city officials said Wheeler forced Adams to resign from city hall after Adams had been accused of bullying and intimidating several female city employees.

Adams told KOIN 6 News on Friday he was aware of complaints that had been made against him — but said Wheeler had informed him about the complaints.

The City of Portland’s Chief Human Resource Officer Cathy Bless said in fact, Adams had been contacted by the Bureau of Human Resources on at least two occasions during his most recent employment with the city, which lasted from Feb. 1, 2021 to Jan. 11, 2023.  

In a statement to KOIN 6 News, Adams said he hasn’t seen the official reports of the complaints and called the developments a “knife in the back.” 

When Adams announced his resignation Tuesday, he implied he was leaving the position due to chronic anemia.

“I was hoping it would get better, and for a moment it was, but I recently received some new test results,” Adams said. “It is back to getting worse. I experience deep fatigue on too many work days, and when I get home from work each day, I am often wiped out.”

The city confirmed that Wheeler had been informed about the complaints against Adam in the first week of January.

This isn’t the first time Adams is connected to a scandal while working for the city. In an interview with KOIN 6 during his 2020 run for city council, Adams admitted to lying about having a sexual relationship with a teenager around the time he was elected mayor. 

“When asked if I had a relationship with an adult, an 18-year-old adult who has never worked for me, I lied and said I hadn’t, and that was dumb,” Adams told KOIN 6 in 2020. “But that was thoroughly investigated for over six months by the Oregon Attorney General and I was cleared of wrongdoing.”

The city’s chief human resource officer did not give details about the reports of Adams’ behavior or who filed the complaints. KOIN 6 News has requested records relating to this situation and will continue to report on any updates.