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No comment on harassment claims against legislator, who is running unopposed in May primary election

PMG FILE PHOTO  - Diego Hernandez shown at work in the Oregon Legislature in pre-pandemic days.

Members of the Reynolds School Board aren't saying whether the board will take any position on one of its members, Oregon legislator Diego Hernandez, who is under investigation by the legislature because of accusations of sexual harassment.

Yesenia Delgado, chair of the school board, said "I have no comment at this time," when asked about Hernandez.

Valerie Tewksbury, vice chair of the Reynolds School Board, also declined to comment on whether the board would take any action.

"I have no comment," Tewksbury said.

Hernandez, a graduate of Reynolds High School, has been on the Reynolds School Board since 2012 and is in his second term.

Seven women connected to the Oregon Legislature have accused Rep. Hernandez of sexual harassment.

The two-term Democrat representing parts of East Multnomah County has been condemned by other lawmakers and politicians including Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, D-Northeast Portland and Chris Gorsek D-Troutdale.

Hernandez has taken a leave of absence from the legislature.

A legislative committee has required he give 24-hours notice before entering the now-shuttered Capitol and to not have contact with his accusers.

Hernandez filed a tort claim signaling an upcoming civil lawsuit naming the Oregon Legislature and others alleging abuse of power, discrimination and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

"In this politicized process, Tina Kotek was able to appoint the jury, declare me guilty and sentence me to political and professional exile without any due process. Her process has not been about restorative justice or reconciliation, but instead persecution," Hernandez said in a statement.

Hernandez is running unopposed in the May 19 primary for a third term in the legislature, and has given no indication he plans on stepping aside.

Hernandez has faced complaints before. He took a leave of absence on April 2 after the Willamette Week newspaper reported he was the subject of a restraining order alleging violent behavior while drunk. Three years ago, it was alleged he kept a list of female lobbyists ranked on their attractiveness. Legislative investigators were unable to find evidence of such a list.

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