PORTLAND, Ore. — City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty has been sued by Bank of America for unpaid credit card debt amounting to $16,000 and some change.  Documents were filed in Multnomah County Court in mid-December.

Reporter Rosemary Reynolds looked into the bigger picture of how the City of Portland handles situations with employees who have money problems and are charged with making some financial decisions as part of their job.

The City Auditors office was asked several questions:

  1. What is the common practice when a city employee is having money problems and your department becomes aware of it?
  2.  If that person deals with city dollars and a budget in some way, is there a protocol in place to protect city investments?
  3. Does your office know of any garnishments or financial warrants filed against the commissioner?

The questions were answered by a Human Resources Communications Specialist and a Public Information Officer with the Office of Management and Finance.

Person #1 responded that no garnishments or warrants have been filed connected to Commissioner Hardesty.  The city does not have a standard process in place for employees having financial problems.  It does have a general employee assistance support program.

Person #2 responded the city does not have a specific protocol or common practice in place.  Situations are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Under Charter, Code and Policies, the city of Portland has two accounting specific rules: FIN-6.01 and FIN-6.02.

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