Musing: You have to wonder if the impact is all it might be. But it might be. Could it be that a 10-year-old civil case could cost a half-million dollars now, so much more than the $20,000 back then?
The subject is a sad incident dating from 1995, just now unearthed (the process and timing of which would be interesting to know, and isn't entirely clear yet). The political principals are Karen Minnis, now speaker of the Oregon House, and her husband John, who in 1995 was both a state legislator (she worked for him then as an aide) and a police officer. Briefly, the story is this:
The Minnises in 1995 opened a pizza parlor at Hillsboro. Both otherwise employed, they hired John Minnis' brother Tuck to manage it. It was an unfortunate choice. According to court records, Tuck Minnis soon began sexually harassing the help - the descriptions in court records put his actions well beyond the pale of ambiguity - culminating in an attack on a 17-year-old girl who worked there, at the restaurant, the point of "attempting to tear off plaintiff's clothing in an apparent attempt to rape her." She told her mother, who in turn called John Minnis (at the statehouse) to complain.
The eventual lawsuit (another female employee also eventually sued) said the Minnises "retaliated against plaintiff [the girl] for resisiting and reporting the sexual harassment conduct, as alleged above, by engaging in a course of intentional conduct designed to traumatize plaintiff and force her to quit, including but not limited to excusing defendant Tuck Minnis' conduct toward plaintiff, assigning plaintiff to undesirable later night shifts, ordering her to change or wardrobe on and off work, setting rules for women employees that were not applied to men, reducing plaintiff's work hours, changing her job description from hostess to cook, punitively treating her in a rude and angry manner, and writing her up for alleged insubordination on the job." (She was at the time, remember, age 17.) She stopped working at the restaurant soon after, and then sued. The Minnises paid $20,000 to settle the civil suit. John and Karen Minnis removed Tuck Minnis as manager of the business, but kept him on as an employee there until November, when he apparently left voluntarily. (more…)