Fire District 3 ex-employee settles for 6-figures following harassment claim

WHITE CITY, Ore. — An ex-employee with Jackson County Fire District 3 who filed a sexual harassment claim with the state, has settled with the agency.

Ashley Blakely tells NBC5 News she got a 6-figure settlement package.

She says part of her severance package also included the agency reviewing its harassment policy and providing management on harassment and discrimination reporting.

According to the complaint she filed in 2018, Deputy Chief John Patterson “propositioned, harassed, and sexually intimidated” Blakely.

Blakely alleged the inappropriate behavior continued for several months in 2015.

The Deputy Chief, Blakely says in the complaint, began a number of disciplinary actions against her after she started a relationship with her now-husband who also works at the agency.

Blakely filed the complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.

Thursday, Blakely tells us she decided to settle because she needed to step away to be healthy for herself and for her family.

Fire District 3 Chief Robert Horton told NBC5 News last year when we first reported the complaint, that it will not comment publicly on personnel matters.

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