Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer, AP
If you are covering the House Conduct Committee hearing on Representative Hernandez’s complaint against Tina Kotek today, here is a quick reminder of Kotek’s history of harassment and silence on harassment complaints in the Oregon legislature:
2013: Kotek stayed silent about her witness of inappropriate behavior by a fellow Democrat lawmaker until 2017 when the reports became public.
2018: The state labor commissioner filed a complaint asserting that Kotek had repeatedly ignored complaints of sexual harassment and unwanted touching by former-Senator Jeff Kruse until the allegations went public in 2017.
2019: While fighting for support for her priority bill, then-Speaker Kotek threatened Representative Hernandez and two other lawmakers with ending their careers, demoting their position in the House, and killing their legislation.
2019: Kotek is named in a lawsuit filed by the former lawyer for the Oregon legislature for failing to protect her from retaliation after she raised concerns about unlawful conduct and the mishandling of harassment reports.
2021: Kotek is named in a lawsuit filed by the former Legislative Equity Officer Nate Monson for retaliating against him after he revealed his predecessor had major ethics violations, in what was assumed to be an attempt to cover up harassment complaints like the ones above, telling Monson that Kotek would do what it takes to keep him quiet.
“Taking a look back at Tina Kotek’s long history of harassment, and her influence in the Oregon legislature to cover it up, it comes as no surprise that this most recent report of her wrongdoing is marked by missed deadlines, political leanings, and doesn’t even give Kotek a slap on the wrist,” said RGA Spokeswoman Kaitlin Price. “The House Conduct Committee owes it to Oregonians to right these wrongs and finally hold Kotek accountable for her workplace harassment and failure to speak out against unethical behavior that happened under her watch.”