PORTLAND, Ore. – City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty has been sued by Bank of America for unpaid credit card debt totaling $ 16,000 and some changes. Documents were filed in Multnomah County Court in mid-December. Journalist Rosemary Reynolds took a look at how the City of Portland handles situations with employees who have money problems and are responsible for making financial decisions as part of their job.
Several questions were put to the office of municipal auditors.
- What is the common practice when a city employee has money problems and your department realizes it?
- If this person is looking after the city’s money and a budget in one way or another, is there a protocol in place to protect the city’s investments?
- Is your office aware of garnishments or financial warrants filed against the Commissioner?
Questions were answered by a human resources communications specialist and a public information officer from the Office of Management and Finance. Person 1 responded that no garnishment or warrant has been filed in relation to Commissioner Hardesty. The city does not have a standard process in place for employees with financial problems. It has a general employee assistance program.
Person # 2 responded that the city does not have a specific protocol or common practice in place. Situations are handled on a case-by-case basis. Under the Charter, Code and Policies, the City of Portland has two specific accounting rules. END-6.01 and END-6.02