Portland City Council approves $40K settlement to end Jack Graham’s legal claims

Portland City Council approves $40K settlement to end Jack Graham’s legal claims

The City Council of Portland on Wednesday approved a $40,000 settlement to end legal claims brought by the city's former top administrator, Jack D. Graham.

Graham was dismissed from the position of the chief administrative officer by Mayor Charlie Hales in January this year, after media channels reported disputes between Graham and his staff over controversial accounting practices.

Those media reports followed a hullabaloo in 2012, when a probe by the city officials found Graham guilty of proposing improper transfer of $200,000 between two city funds.

Graham, who was the city's highest ranking African-American official, accused the administration of racial discrimination. In a lawsuit, he alleged that the city's probe into the transfer of funds was flawed and that he was fired because of his race.

A letter of recommendation from Mayor Hales cleared Graham of any wrongdoing.

The letter that Graham received from the mayor's office stated, "In November 2013 I determined that achieving those priorities would be best supported by selecting a new CAO. Mr. Graham accordingly left. Mr. Graham is a dedicated public servant and I am grateful for his years of exemplary service."

The settlement followed various liability experts' conclusion that Graham's claims could pose a big risk and that a lengthy and expensive lawsuit disrupt the city.

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