Portland Mayor Charlie Hales has called for an investigation into comments made by Baruti Artharee, his public safety advisor.
Willamette Week reports that during a meeting of 40 people at Quartet Restaurant, Artharee made comments concerning Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith.
The Mayor's Office issued the following statement:
The office of Mayor Charlie Hales was informed of the incident on Friday. Chief of Staff Gail Shibley on Friday spoke to Baruti Artharee, policy director; spoke to the city’s legal counsel; and spoke to the office of Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith.
On Friday, Baruti Artharee apologized to the commissioner. On Monday, Mayor Hales apologized to the commissioner.
On the advice of legal counsel, the mayor’s office has asked the city’s Human Resources Department to begin an investigation into the incident.
Anna Kanwit, director of Human Resources, said she wants the investigation to be thorough and timely. She declined to say how long such an investigation may take.
Kanwit has advised all parties, including Baruti Artharee and the mayor, not to publically discuss the ongoing investigation in order to protect the integrity of the process.
“As we said from the start, we are treating this issue seriously,” Mayor Hales said. “We are treating it as a complaint regarding actions in violation of the city’s anti-harassment policy. We now are going through the appropriate steps, as laid out in city policy.”