Betsy Johnson: Vindictive Sources Expand Holes in Story

Over at Loaded Orygun, bloggers Carla and Torrid Joe have continued their work in taking a deeper look at the recent stories on Betsy Johnson by the Oregonian and Willamette Week.

What’s the latest? This week has provided two more in depth post detailing disgruntled employees, long-standing vendettas and the current war being waged on her. In the first post, Torrid speculates on the source from the Port of St. Helens:

We can't be sure who sourced Jaquiss on this report, and of course he'd rightly never tell us, but we're 90% sure it was one of two people: POSH Executive Director Pete Williamson, or his Deputy Gregory Jenks. They headed the staff that was responsible for the quoted report, and Jenks himself composed it for review by the POSH Commission. It could theoretically also have come from one of the Commissioners themselves, but having spoken with them at length over the last few days, it seems highly unlikely any of them were passing confidential documents to Jaquiss in order to help give Johnson negative press.

We expect that archived Scappoose Sentinel articles that we are in the process of acquiring will show that Jenks was fired for multiple offenses of a sexual or lewd nature, based on multiple-source reports that allegations included charges of harboring pornography on his workstation, making lewd suggestions to a coworker, and being caught masturbating at the office by another staffer. We do know that Jenks' office computer was seized as part of the internal investigation into his conduct, and while she had left POSH by this time, when asked whether she had heard of porn and sexual harrassment allegations against Jenks former Commissioner Pat Zimmerman responded "I think that's true." At least one person engaged by the Port at the time verified to us that they personally saw evidence of pornography on Jenks' computer.

Also according to DeShazer, Williamson was approached by a staff member about the allegations, and either refused or ultimately did nothing to address the situation. An outside inquiry was conducted on the actions of Jenks and Williamson, a report we are also trying to get--but which even some Commissioners were not allowed to see.

From Carla’s post:

The other link in the staff source chain is perhaps the more prominent one: former Port of St. Helens Executive Director Pete Williamson. Williamson was quoted several times in the O's initial story.

Former Scappoose Spotlight Editor and Publisher Art Heerwagon (who reported on this saga for the 12 years he worked on the paper) noted to me that when Johnson came on as a St. Helens Port Commissioner, there was "slipshod" work happening that the commissioners weren't aware of. Former Port Commissioner Pat Zimmerman held a similar impression. "Petey" was "absolutely incompetent" and "waging a personal vendetta against Johnson".

Heerwagon also told me that when Johnson came on as a Port Commissioner, she wanted to see the Port run like a business. This interfered with Mr. Williamson's desire to run things the way he wanted, and the two clashed.

According to Port Commissioner Colleen Deshazer, Johnson wrote a negative job performance review for Williamson--and Williamson was extremely unhappy about it. Williamson went so far as to move to have the review purged from his personnel file. Deshazer says that Johnson claimed Williamson wasn't doing his job. Deshazer also notes that afterward Williamson spent "significant amounts of time trying to undermine everything Betsy did" in regard to the Port, whether it was beneficial to the Port or not. And that included SB680.

Read the first post, Is WWeek Getting Duped on Johnson Story?, the second, More duping on the Johnson saga, this time via Pete Williamson, and discuss over there.


connect with blueoregon