Umatilla County and the state of Oregon have been accused of failing to protect a county worker from alleged physical, sexual and emotional abuse, according to a copy of a lawsuit notice the employee had Portland lawyer Thomas K. Doyle send to Umatilla County CounselDoug Olsen.
The accusation names District Attorney Dean Gushwa. He is on paid leave while the Department of Justice investigates accusations made by the employee to the Pendleton Police Department in August 2010.
Gushwa has denied the accusations.
I deny it, he told the East Oregonian last week. That did not happen.
Doyle, the employees attorney, said Gushwa subjected the woman to the abuse, both on and off duty during the course of two years.
In his letter he said, ... the County and the State have failed to protect (xxx) from this conduct and have condoned retaliation for the reporting of this conduct.
The Herald does not usually report victims of sex crimes or those who report sex crimes.
Gushwa announced his leave from office on Aug. 26.
In spite of being out of office nearly three months, Gushwa said he has no intention of resigning.
If I had done anything unlawful, I would resign, Gushwa said. I want to see the end of the investigation because I want to get back to work.
The district attorney is a state official that receives most of his money from the state and a small stipend from the county. The deputy district attorneys and the rest of the office staff, though, are county employees.
Gushwa has continued to draw a paycheck while on leave. He makes $7,363 a month in salary and receives almost $2,205 in monthly insurance and retirement benefits.
The DOJ has been running the Umatilla County District Attorneys Office since Gushwa stepped aside.
Umatilla County Commissioner Dennis Doherty said he met with officials in the Oregon Attorney Generals Office in Salem and came away feeling good about how the DAs office is operating.
They are working to leave the office in better condition than when they found it, Doherty said.