Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ex Employees Sue Astoria for Millions

By Mark Edward Nero

Two recently fired Port of Astoria employees on Feb. 17 sued the port for millions of dollars, claiming they were retaliated against after blowing the whistle on misdeeds at the port.

Former ex finance manager Colleen Browne and former port facilities manager Tami Herman each allege in separate lawsuits that the port engaged in whistleblower retaliation against them and aided and abetted retaliation by others against them.

Browne was Astoria’s financial manager and personnel manager from April 2007 until being fired in November 2014; Foster worked in the port’s finance department from June 2012 to November 2014.
During their time in the finance department, the port dealt with major financial trouble, including operational losses in excess of $1 million per year. The women say they were scapegoated for the troubles.

Among the other allegations against the port are:
  • Unauthorized disclosure of a whistleblower’s identity.
  • Breach of employment contract.
  • Defamation of character.
  • Postemployment retaliation.

Browne is seeking a combined $2.75 million in damages, while Foster seeks $2.65 million.
Listed as a defendant in both lawsuits along with the port is Michael Weston, Astoria’s director of business development and operations.