Did Portland’s Fire & Rescue Chief “belittle” employees over the use of pronouns? A legal notice that has been filed against Portland Fire & Rescue Chief Sara Boone and the city of Portland sheds light on the internal workings of the bureau during a time of pressure for operational changes and budget management challenges. The notice, which serves as a precursor to a lawsuit, was filed on behalf of Division Chief Tim Matthews and recently obtained by WW.

Matthews claims that he disciplined a senior bureau officer, who is a close friend of Chief Boone, for mistreating Portland Street Response employees over the use of personal pronouns. According to Matthews, Chief Boone retaliated by undermining his career. This situation is particularly significant as Matthews was overseeing Portland Street Response, the bureau’s prominent initiative that provides mental health first responders and medics to assist individuals in crisis. Staff members of Portland Street Response assert that Boone sidelined Matthews, who was their highest-ranking advocate, in relation to their work. For more information, Lars speaks with Nigel Jaquiss – Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for Willamette Week.