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'Substantial Evidence' Supports Claims Of Discrimination Against Deschutes DA

OPB | Jan. 8, 2013 3:08 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 10, 2013 9:53 a.m. | Bend, Oregon

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The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has found “substantial evidence” supporting two workplace discrimination claims filed against the District Attorney in Deschutes County. 

The complaints were filed with BOLI last year.  That’s the agency charged with enforcing Oregon’s labor laws. 

Sharon Sweet and Nicole Jenson both allege they were discriminated against on the basis of age and gender by their boss, District Attorney Patrick Flaherty.  

Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty

Deschutes County District Attorney Patrick Flaherty

David Nogueras

Both women also allege they were retaliated against as whistleblowers.  Sweet was laid-off from her job as an investigator in the DA’s office and now works for the county.  Jenson continues to work as a trial assistant.

The “substantial evidence determination” means the parties now have 90 days to reach a settlement.  After that BOLI could decide whether to hold administrative hearings on the cases.  That process is similar to regular court hearing.

District Attorney Flaherty didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

When reached by phone, Sweet declined to comment. Jensen was not available.




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