News | Politics

Former Portland Finance Director Plans To Sue City For Race Discrimination

OPB | April 18, 2014 5:26 p.m. | Updated: April 21, 2014 3:51 p.m.

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The former leader of Portland’s Office of Management and Finance plans to sue the city for race discrimination. Jack Graham was the city’s highest ranking African-American manager.

Graham is represented by attorney Dana Sullivan. She says other managers in Graham’s bureau questioned his competence because of his race, and complained about his decision to make diversity hiring a priority.“Our perspective is from the get-go there was this presumption, because of Jack’s race, that he was not competent to do the job,” Sullivan says.

Sullivan argues race was a factor when two white employees filed complaints saying that Graham had attempted to transfer money between two city funds, despite their advice that the move was improper. Graham later withdrew the proposed transfer.

Mayor Charlie Hales fired Graham last year, saying the controversy at his bureau had become a distraction to the city. A spokesman for Mayor Hales said he has no comment. The City Attorney’s office says it will not comment on pending litigation. Graham’s allegations of discrimination are detailed in his notice of intent to sue:

Jack_Graham_Tort Claims Notice

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