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Investigation did not find 'evidence of a widespread toxic environment or a pattern of discrimination against females or older employees.'

COURTESY BUSINESS OREGON - CHRIS HARDER, DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OREGONAn investigation into the culture of the state's economic development agency, Business Oregon, finds that "morale is, without question, poor throughout the agency."

The final report, completed Aug. 31 and first reported by Willamette Week, comes several months after a Portland lawyer, representing current and former employees of the agency, wrote a letter to the governor alleging a hostile work environment, discrimination against women and older employees, favoritism and "poor stewardship of public funds."

Two attorneys from Portland firm Perkins Coie investigated the allegations and found "discrete allegations of offensive conduct," but "did not find evidence of a widespread toxic environment or a pattern of discrimination against females or older employees."

Investigators said there was "widespread and strongly felt mistrust among the staff that will require proactive management and meaningful change to turn around the low morale at Business Oregon."

The report on the roughly 140-employee agency comes nearly a year after the #MeToo movement began sweeping the country to call out sexual harassment and misogyny, in the wake of sexual assault allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and after sexual harassment allegations have shaken up the state legislature.

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