By Associated Press • 

OLCC manager resignation may be due to complaints

BEND — The former Bend regional manager of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission who resigned amid an investigation may have done so because of complaints lodged against her.

Katie Siefkes resigned Nov. 20. A pre-dismissal letter sent to Siefkes in November but released to The Bulletin Tuesday outlines a slew of OLCC and state Department of Administrative Services policy violations, including misuse of a commission car, harassment and hostility.

Siefkes served as regional manager in Bend since 2012. She oversaw staff in the commission's Bend and Pendleton offices, which performs liquor licensing, regulation and enforcement in Central and Eastern Oregon.

The complaints against Siefkes say she created a hostile work environment and retaliated against an employee who had filed a sexual harassment complaint against her by giving the woman who made the complaint “the silent treatment.” The retaliation complaint was found to be substantiated.

Siefkes is also accused of failing to report leave time and accepting a gift from a licensee

OLCC spokeswoman Christie Scott said Tuesday that a pre-dismissal letter does not always lead to dismissal, but allows an employee to make their case as to why disciplinary action isn't warranted.

In a Nov. 20 email, Siefkes told Human Resources Director Bonnie Barasch that the complaints against her were false.

“I found most of the ‘charges & supporting facts’ to be untrue, misleading and unsubstantiated,” she wrote to Barasch. “Though it is true, and for a very long time, there is and has been a toxic environment in the Bend Field Office. It seems however you have laid the blame squarely on me and this could not be further from the truth.”

Siefkes declined to comment on Tuesday.

Scott said Portland Regional Manager Shannon Hoffeditz is still filling in while the commission searches for Siefkes’ replacement.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

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