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Walden comments on secretly settled disabled vet's complaint

Congressman says step taken to avoid lengthy suit

(Update: Walden issues statement on settlement)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Records show Oregon Congressman Greg Walden paid $7,000 in a secret settlement with a staff member to resolve the man's complaints that Walden unfairly cut his hours because of health-related problems.
 
The Oregonian/OregonLive reported Thursday that Walden of Hood River settled with Cody Standiford in 2013.
 
Standiford provided the newspaper with the settlement and complaint documents.
 
Standiford started working for Walden in his Bend office in 2010 after being discharged from the Army because of injuries from an improvised explosive device in Iraq.
 
The former Deschutes County sheriff's deputy enlisted after the 9/11 attacks.

Standiford's complaint says he worked as a veteran outreach coordinator, but a promotion was rescinded after he missed two weeks of work for chest pains.
 
He said Thursday that he broke the settlement's nondisclosure agreement not to disparage Walden but to shed light on the fact that members of Congress spend taxpayer funds on settlements.

In a response provided to NewsChannel 21 on Friday, Walden said: 

“I’ve never discriminated against an employee, and did not do so in this case.  My office, working with counsel, agreed to this settlement to avoid protracted and expensive litigation.  Cody’s decision to violate the terms of the agreement he signed speaks for itself.  I know I’m not the only employer who has faced this situation.  As much as I’d love to respond further, I, for one, will continue to abide by the terms of the agreement and, therefore, I cannot say anything else.”

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com


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