PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — With a unanimous vote on the Portland City Council, months of turmoil and investigation came to an end with the official resignation of Dean Marriott from the Bureau of Environmental Services.
After a KOIN 6 News investigation triggered a city audit, Marriott was put on paid leave from his director’s job. He threatened to sue because, he said, city leader made him a fall guy for the lavish new building that ballooned from a $3 million project to $12 million without any public oversight.
A settlement was reached recently. Marriott dropped the suit in return for one year’s salary — nearly $200,000 — and nearly $50,000 for legal fees.
That deal irks some ratepayers.
Commissioner Nick Fish, who was not in charge of the BES during construction, put Marriott on leave. He signed off on the settlement because, he said, he believed it to be “in the best interest of all the parties.”
“He’s no longer the director of the bureau,” Fish said.
Marriott could not simply be fired because he was the last of the city’s bureau directors with civil service protection.
“We could certainly spend the next year in various legal forms litigating this issue. I don’t think that’s in the interest of my ratepayers or taxpayers,” Fish said.
As part of the settlement, Marriott agrees to cooperate with an outside law firm looking at how spending decisions were made and how the city can do business better.