Fuller forced out Tricia Tillman, leading to $165,000 settlement and criticism of Fuller.

MULTNOMAH COUNTY - Multnomah Health Director Joanne Fuller abruptly retired after controversy over her ouster of Tricia Tillman, which led to a hefty settlement. Longtime Multnomah County manager Joann Fuller has resigned, without citing a specific reason.

However, the announcement comes shortly after her controversial ouster of public health director, who accused the county of insitutional racism — and who was given more than a year's pay in severance.

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Fuller, the county health director, sent out the announcement to staff at 9:04 a.m., saying that "As some of you know, I have been thinking about retiring for some time. I have decided that now is the time. I will be leaving my position as Multnomah County Health Department Director at close of business today. I am grateful that it is possible for me to step back from high pressure full time work and pursue my many other passions."

County Chair Deborah Kafoury, who had recently launched an investigation of Tillman's ouster, issued a statement noting Fuller's long history as the director of several departments, as well as a stint as the county's chief operating officer. It noted that Fuller oversaw a $336 million budget and 1,400 employees.

"For more than 29 years, Joanne has brought a social worker's heart and a CEO's mind to Multnomah County. She's been a tireless champion for people with mental illness and disabilities, for working families and for those in the criminal justice system, especially juveniles. She brought that same steadiness and heart to to the Health Department and we are deeply grateful for her service,'' Kafoury said in the statement.

"In addition to leading the largest safety net health care provider in Oregon, Joanne steered the Health Department through some of its greatest challenges, including state and federal health reform, integration of Mental Health and the building of a new Gladys McCoy Health Department Headquarters.''

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