Wyden Says He’ll Seek Accountability for Hiring Discrimination at BPA

Oct 18, 2013

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden says he’s exploring whether executives from the Bonneville Power Administration should be held accountable for a hiring discrimination scandal.

The Grand Coulee Dam, one of the Bonneville Power Administration’s federal hydro projects.
Credit U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

An inspector general’s report found that in more than a hundred cases, the Northwest’s largest electricity marketer failed to give hiring preference to veterans.

Two top executives at BPA appeared to take the fall initially for the hiring problems.

BPA Administrator Bill Drummond and Chief Operating Officer Anita Decker were placed on leave in July.

But now the Oregonian and the Hill newspapers report that the Department of Energy has moved the BPA officials into new jobs in Washington DC.

The reports are based on anonymous sources, and the DOE refused to comment.

Senator Wyden says civil service laws may protect Drummond and Decker, but he’s asked his lawyers to look into the issue.

“I’m going to make sure that justice is done here, and I’m of the view that if someone is found to be discriminating against a veteran they shouldn’t work for the federal government" says Wyden.

Decker and Drummond’s supporters say the Department of Energy never directly linked them to the discrimination, and never explained why they were placed on leave.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting.