Eggum Mentioned in The Oregonian for Serving as Arbitrator in a Whistleblower and Wrongful Termination Suit Against Clackamas County
In March of 2014, Lane Powell Shareholder Susan K. Eggum served as arbitrator in a highly publicized whistleblower and wrongful termination suit filed by Daniel Henninger, a now former technical services manager for the Water Environmental Services (WES) Department of Clackamas County. The technical services manager claimed he was terminated by WES Director, Mike Kuenzi, in retaliation for complaining that Kuenzi was entering contracts with outside vendors in violation of county and state contracting rules, and that Kuenzi misrepresented to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners the need to pay an additional $300,000 to an outside vendor on a project where more than $1.5 million had already been spent by WES. In a 31-page order, Eggum found:
“The evidence indicated not merely that the claimant had an objectively reasonable belief that Kuenzi’s conduct was not in the public’s best interest. The preponderance of evidence demonstrated that Kuenzi’s actions and conduct were willful violations of not only county rules but also state laws.”
Following issuance of Eggum’s Opinion and Order, Clackamas County hired a forensic examiner to look into Eggum’s findings. As a result, Kuenzi has been terminated as WES Director. The case continues to garner attention in the media, as Clackamas County must now pay more than $800,000 in damages.
The decision and subsequent audit has been featured in numerous articles in the local media, including two articles titled “Clackamas County Must Pay Nearly $800,000 in Damages, Fees for Wrongful Dismissal of WES Employee” and “Clackamas County Fires Executive Mike Kuenzi, Who Wrongfully Dismissed Whistleblower,” which recently appeared in The Oregonian. For more information on the case, view this March 19 story.