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The Portland City Commissioner is ordered to pay $16,000 in overdue credit card debt and fees.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Commissioner Jo Ann HardestyPortland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty must pay $16,000 in overdue credit card debt and fees after failing to show up for a Multnomah County Circuit Court hearing last week.

Neither Hardesty nor an attorney representing her appeared in court to settle the suit, so Judge Judith Matarazzo issued default orders in a pair of lawsuits filed by Bank of America in November 2021 that alleged Hardesty had defaulted on two credit card accounts.

Hardesty said she plans to pay and already has reached out to the bank's attorneys in an email statement on Tuesday, March 29.

"When I ran for city council in 2018, like many working people I was reliant on a credit card and built-up debt," Hardesty said after the bank first filed the lawsuit. "I live alone, without help, and put all of myself into my work at the city. Sometimes that means I neglect to take care of personal matters. I tried to work out a payment plan before with this debt that didn't work out and intend to pay this off."

As a commissioner, Hardesty earns $125,000 per year. She is running for reelection in the 2022 May primary election. Hardesty oversees multiple Portland bureaus and votes on the city budget. She also championed the Portland Clean Energy Fund and Portland Street Response.

KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. Reporter Jim Redden contributed to this story.

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