A former Oregon Lottery official who filed a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit against the lottery agency and the state is having his allegations heard. The trial began on Monday, Dec. 10.
According to Willamette Week, Trinh C. Tran filed his whistleblower lawsuit against the lottery last year claiming that lottery director Barry Pack retaliated against him in 2016 after he talked to the Lottery Commission and the governor’s staff about former lottery director Jack Roberts’ management style.
Shortly after talking with Lottery Commission member Elizabeth Carle and Gov. Kate Brown’s staff, Gov. Brown fired Mr. Roberts.
Mr. Pack, who worked as Gov. Brown’s deputy from 2009 to 2013 when she was secretary of state, took over the Lottery Commission after Mr. Roberts’ termination. But that’s when Mr. Tran’s trouble began, according to the whistleblower complaint.
Under Mr. Pack, Mr. Tran fell under an investigation by the Oregon Department of Justice – a probe that Mr. Tran’s whistleblower lawsuit said was unwarranted and harmed his standing within the agency.
“The allegations in the Lottery’s investigation notice, both anonymous and false, destroyed morale within the procurement department, eroded the relationship of trust plaintiff had been developing with his employees following the turmoil at the top level of leadership at the Lottery, and ultimately degraded the leadership role that plaintiff had worked hard to obtain,” the whistleblower lawsuit alleges, according to Willamette Week.
Mr. Trans’ whistleblower lawsuit claims lottery execs “placed him on a work plan, reduced his responsibilities and ostracized him, ultimately driving him out of the agency,” according to Willamette Week.
In the end, the state’s investigation of Mr. Tran found “no evidence of inappropriate conduct or violation of policy.”
“The Lottery’s improperly motivated and unlawful retaliation against plaintiff and others created an atmosphere of intimidation that dissuades and prevents Lottery employees from making protected disclosures,” Mr. Tran’s whistleblower lawsuit alleges.