The Portland City Commissioner said the bills dated back to her tenure in 2018 and she intended to reimburse Bank of America.
PORTLAND, Oregon – PORTLAND, Oregon – Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is being sued for more than $ 16,000 in unpaid credit card bills, according to court documents recently filed in Multnomah County Court.
Bank of America sued Hardesty in late November, claiming two of its credit card accounts were in default. A lawyer for the bank wrote in a court record that Hardesty owed $ 11,344.36 on one account and $ 4,707.18 on another, for a total of $ 16,051.54.
Hardesty was served with the lawsuit on December 1 in Portland.
In a written statement, Hardesty said she intended to pay the bank the money she owed.
“When I ran for city council in 2018, like many workers, I depended on a credit card and ran into debt. I live on my own, without help, and I am completely dedicated to my job at the City, ”said Hardesty. “Sometimes that means I neglect to take care of my personal affairs. I have already tried to work out a payment plan with this debt that has not worked and I intend to pay it off.
A Bank of America attorney contacted Hardesty at least a month before filing a lawsuit asking her to pay the unpaid balance on her accounts, but later wrote in court documents that she “failed or refused to pay the balance due “.
She has 30 days to respond in writing to the court or she will lose by default. Court records as of Tuesday afternoon indicate that she has yet to file a response.
Lawsuits like this are not uncommon, according to Doug Ricks, a bankruptcy lawyer who is not involved in the Hardesty case.
Ricks explained that policies differ from bank to bank, but generally banks will try to work with defaulting customers before taking legal action. He said it’s typical for an account to be in default for six months or more before a bank takes legal action. He called this costume a “garden variety” debt costume.
Hardesty did not say what steps it has taken with the bank to negotiate a payment plan.
She will earn $ 127,712 this year as a city commissioner, according to a city database.
A similar search of court documents from other Portland city council members did not reveal any claims by creditors for other city commissioners.
Hardesty also filed an unrelated lawsuit this week against the union that represents police officers in Portland. She is asking the union for $ 3 million and $ 1 million each from two officers who she says disclosed false information falsely claiming she was involved in a hit-and-run accident last March. The city of Portland has also been named as a defendant in this lawsuit, with Hardesty asking the city for a single dollar and an acknowledgment of wrongdoing.
RELATED: Lawsuit: Jo Ann Hardesty Sues Portland Police Union for Leaking False Hit-and-Run Charge
Hardesty is currently running for his second term on City Council. On December 2, her campaign announced that she qualified for public funding in this election.
Hardesty said he raised $ 102,814 for his campaign in 2021. Of that total, $ 61,536 was from a state-funded matching donation program, according to state election records.
The city’s open and responsible elections program allows qualified candidates to get a 6-to-1 match on donations between $ 5 and $ 50 they receive from Portland residents. In return, candidates must not accept money from political action committees or individual donations greater than $ 250.
His campaign received city money on December 8. Under Oregon law, campaign money cannot be used for personal expenses.
Three other candidates applied against Hardesty, although only two registered campaign fundraising accounts to raise money for their races.