August 26, 2017 – HARBR is a nonpartisan organization. As an organization, HARBR endorses no official categorical opinion regarding Oregon’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum. HARBR does, however, have some specific concerns about her behavior as it affects the lives and professions of licensed healthcare professionals in Oregon. Ms. Rosenblum is the head of Oregon’s Department of Justice (DOJ). In this position, she is the supervisor of the DOJ Assistant Attorney Generals who prosecute Oregon licensed healthcare professionals when there are allegations of misconduct by regulatory boards. She also oversees the DOJ Assistant Attorney Generals who defend healthcare regulatory boards when licensees appeal board final orders to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
In a August 24, 2017 article published by Oregon Public Broadcasting’s Chris Lehman Ms. Rosenbaum shows herself in a manner HARBR believes will be recognizable to those who have been abused by their Oregon healthcare regulatory boards and the DOJ attorneys who represent them. The article relates to the firing and re-hiring of James R. Williams, an investigator for the Oregon DOJ.
Williams sued the Oregon DOJ and the matter was settled in arbitration. Sherwood attorney David Blair presided over the arbitration.
Take away quotes include:
Blair: “[The Oregon DOJ] “exacted the harshest penalty possible against a seven-year veteran of the department with a spotless record [.]”
Blair: “[T]his discipline appears to have been both inappropriate, unnecessary and clearly excessive.”
According to the OBP article: Blair writes that the agency could instead have offered additional training to Williams and other employees to help them better understand the agency’s expectations. Blair also ordered the agency to scrub any reference to the matter from Williams’ personnel file.
Rosenblum: “I am disappointed in the arbitrator’s decision and continue to feel strongly that I made the right decision to terminate Mr. Williams’ employment as a criminal investigator at the Oregon Department of Justice.”
According to OPB’s Chris Lehman’s article: Johnson’s attorney, Beth Creighton, said the arbitrator’s ruling “establishes what we knew all along.”
Creighton: “This was not an isolated investigator going rogue, but a concerted effort by DOJ management to target Erious Johnson and cover it up.”
In addition to rehiring Williams, Blair ordered he be given nearly a year’s worth of back pay.
HARBR recommends the reader web-search the matter for more on the backstory. Suggested searches include:
Erious Johnson Oregon DOJ
James R. Williams Oregon DOJ
Williams claims that he had been following orders related to the allegations that he had profiled Erious Johnson. Williams also claims he was a victim of retaliation for whistle-blowing. Erious Johnson is the Director of Civil Rights with the DOJ, one of the few African-American members of Oregon’s DOJ, and the alleged victim of William’s profiling.
According to the OBP article, Rosenblum reports that both Johnson and Williams have further suits pending against the DOJ.
HARBR does not know whether contentions remain between Johnson and Williams. If contentions between these two persons remain, HARBR, at this point, does not have enough information to evaluate merits or to issue opinions.
Creighton: “For the record, Mr. Johnson was never asked if he wanted Williams terminated and in fact did not want to see him terminated.”
Photo Credit: Photo of Ellen Rosenblum provided by Wikimedia Commons
Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AOregon_Attorney_General_Ellen_Rosenblum_addresses_attendees_at_the_conference_(15478927731).jpg, File URL: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Oregon_Attorney_General_Ellen_Rosenblum_addresses_attendees_at_the_conference_%2815478927731%29.jpg, Attribution: By Oregon Department of Transportation (Ellen Rosenblum) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons