- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) - Umatilla County has denied allegations of misconduct in a federal lawsuit brought by three former employees.

The East Oregonian reports (https://bit.ly/1N5Pw8z ) that Carolyn Mason, the former human services director, and Juan Valdez and his wife Martha Laura Aviles-Valdez, who were drug and alcohol counselors, filed their suit in February. They claim they lost their jobs in May 2015 for bringing attention to “unlawful activity and wasted public funds.” The suit also alleges harassment and discrimination.

Springfield Attorney Robert Franz, who is representing the county, denied the allegations in a response filed March 22. He argues that the claims aren’t supported by facts and fail to show the county did anything wrong.

Mason and the Valdezes are seeking back pay and damages for physical and emotional injury.

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Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com

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