© 2024 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
Listen | Discover | Engage a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arbitrator Rules Fired Oregon DOJ Investigator Must Be Reinstated

File photo of the main office of the Oregon Department of Justice in Salem.
M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia Commons bit.ly/1HnTf42
File photo of the main office of the Oregon Department of Justice in Salem.

An investigator for the Oregon Department of Justice is getting his job back after a state arbitrator ruled the agency was wrong to fire him.

It all started when Jim Williams started searching social media for posts using hashtags associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Williams interpreted some of the posts as a possible threat to police and opened a file on the person who posted them.

That person was Erious Johnson—who happens to be the top civil rights attorney at the Oregon Department of Justice. He’s also one of the few African American attorneys in the department.

After an investigation, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum fired Williams, saying he engaged in racial profiling.

Now, an arbitrator said the agency was wrong to let Williams go and ordered him reinstated with back pay.

In a statement, Rosenblum said she was "disappointed" with the ruling. 

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.