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Judge hears arguments in Jefferson County lawsuit challenging Gov. Brown’s vaccine mandate

OSP captain says nearly 300 agency employees have not complied

MADRAS, Ore. (KTVZ) – A retired Oregon Supreme Court justice heard arguments in a virtual courtroom Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by several Oregon State Police troopers and firefighters, seeking an order blocking Gov. Kate Brown’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, less than two weeks before the Oct. 18 deadline.

The lawsuit was filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court a month ago against the governor and state by attorney Dan Thenell, representing the Oregon Fraternal Order of Police and nine OSP troopers, five from Central Oregon, as well as several firefighters, seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against enforcement of the state’s order.

Along with case law and the like, some news emerged from the hearing, as OSP Captain Ryan Martin, director of the agency’s Criminal Investigation Division, said he’d received an email Wednesday from OSP Superintendent Terri Davie indicating just 54% compliance with the executive order and 200 vacancies due to retirements and departures.

“A number have resigned, at least a half-dozen within the past month,” said Martin, who declined to state whether he’d been vaccinated, saying it’s “personal, private medical information I do not wish to share” – but that “I do not intend to comply” with the order.

“My beliefs are based on my constitutional beliefs,” he said. “I believe the government has no right to ask me about my personal, private medical information or religious beliefs,” which along with medical reasons are the two areas in which exceptions to the vaccination order can be requested.

Martin said the number of OSP employees who have not complied has dropped from 400 a week ago to 277 as of now, including about 200 troopers. The plan, he said, is to place those individuals who don't comply by the deadline on administrative leave, which he told Thenell will affect services and “potentially” cost some areas of the state OSP coverage entirely.

Marc Abrams, an attorney for the state, asked in cross-examination if Martin knew how many officers would get the vaccine or an approved exception by Oct. 18, and he did not.

Another trooper, Brian Glaser, said he’d had medical issues stemming from a blood clot, is on blood thinners and that his doctor said “under no circumstances” should he get the vaccine. He also cited religious beliefs for refusing the vaccine and concerns about how it developed, but said has not sought an exemption,

The judge noted that the state statute which says employees cannot be required to be immunized includes a caveat – “unless otherwise required by federal or state law, rule or regulation.”

Thenell argued the governor’s order “is clearly not a ‘rule or regulation,’ as defined in other parts of the statute" and called Brown's order “an overreach of her executive authority,” also citing at times Article 1, Section 22 of the Oregon Constitution.

Another state attorney, Christina Beatty-Walters, cited several state laws that give the governor authority, in emergency situations, and said “the Legislature has the authority to delegate rule-making powers to the governor.”

Abrams also cast the lawsuit as premature, in terms of claiming damage, as “no one has been discharged,” and more could be vaccinated as the deadline approaches. “They have options: to get the vaccination, apply for an exception or look for other employment,: he said, so the claim if “irreparable damage” doesn’t hold water.

Beatty-Walters said the governor weighed the policy issue and health implications of unvaccinated state workers interacting with others.

Landau said he will be reviewing the briefs submitted as recently as late Tuesday, and due to the importance of the issue “will work to get a ruling out as quickly as I can.”

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

26 Comments

  1. Death Cult 45 all virtue signaling each other. Well, you won’t be getting unemployment, so don’t count on that either. On the bright side though, there are lots of HIRING NOW signs out there, boys.

    1. Enjoy basemap, no one can afford to move here. Thousands of first responders and healthcare workers will be added to unemployment, yes many will be getting unemployment benefits. No one is going to work at a burger joint, can’t afford to live here, see my first point.

      1. None of these anti-vaxxers will be getting unemployment. They chose not to comply with a term of service, so it’s on them. Play stupid covid games, win stupid covid prizes. Or, man up and join the rest of us in a society where you have to be a responsible adult who doesn’t burst into tears every time you don’t like doing something for the good of our Country.

        1. Extraordinarily well said!!!! Soooooooo much losing for the trump borg!!! Soooooooo much winning for the 3rd rate failed lawyers they seem to love!!!!

    2. Virtue signaling is a form of expression used by cowards to convey they are not the target of persecution at the hands of whatever movement happens to be blowing through. What we read about in this article is called courage, that is standing for what you believe despite persecution. Courage is the opposite of virtue signaling.

        1. No the original email sent to state employees was exemption then it was changed to exception. I would guess it was changed to keep enough employees to operate and once the dust settles a little they will start firing the exceptions if/ when they can replace with people that took the jab.

  2. Here is a fun fact for people losing their jobs as I am over not getting the shot. Murderers, Rapists, and child molesters have the right to not get the shot, but you as a tax paying “free” person, you do not. That is the state of Oregon putting felons over law abiding citizens. Good luck with this state me and my family are leaving.

    1. Negative. You have the freedom to not get the shot. You just don’t get to work here if you don’t, just like you don’t get to work here if you don’t wear pants to work every day. You have the freedom to get fired from this job for your convictions or any other reason, and stay home and start a business working from home, where you can home-school your kids if you don’t want to participate in the socialist educating/babysitting of your offspring, and where you can freely enjoy every religious, medical, educational right that the Constitution affords us all. Or you can just sit there and smoke pot, legally, and watch Netflix. Zero people will miss you in Oregon, btw.

      1. How does proclaiming your status as tyrant Brown’s sycophant address the hypocrisy of complete indifference on enforcing mandates to swaths of your friends locked up, illegally crossing US border with Mexico, and attendees of BLM/Obama functions? I thought progressive meant open mindedness, tolerance and all that happy horse bit. Nope but you get cookie for water carrier 🍪🦅

    2. “Good luck with this state me and my family are leaving”. That is the intent. Align with the political authority or leave. Since they can’t round up dissidents in cattle cars, they impose socio/economic penalties. Hope you find greener pastures.

      1. Right behind ya Skiz! Where ya looking? We’ve been leaning towards Montana. Gonna be a major life change as my family is multiple generation Oregonian. As a kid I heard my parents concerns about the influx of people coming to Oregon from blue states. Now after watching what 1/3 century under democrat control has done to the state I get why. Blue is a worse virus than COVID. They leave a state they have destroyed and move some place the red has made prosperous. Then vote in all the same garbage that ruined the state they just left. With our departure Oregon loses a nurse of 20 years, wild land aviation firefighter and a lot of taxable income. Some place red, where fear and feelings don’t don’t control the individual.

  3. Every clinical trial must have a control group to be considered proper scientifically. The control group does NOT receive the treatment that is the subject of the clinical trial. In this large-scale clinical trial of the long-range side effects of these Covid “vaccines”, I am in the control group. This way in two years we will be able to scientifically determine the long-range outcomes of those who received these Covid “vaccines” and those who did not. So far even though I did contract Covid before any Vaccines were available I was fine within a few days. The vast majority of my control group who got Covid also recovered very quickly with no issues even though none of us had received a covid “vaccine”. At the end of this long-range clinical trial, we will finally be able to scientifically state the true long-range side effects of these covid vaccines. Until then no one truly knows if these “vaccines” are “safe and effective” or not. This is how science works.

  4. The attorney for the stateside gave the reason for this case to be thrown out… Christina Beatty-Walters, cited several state laws that give the governor authority, in emergency situations, and said: “The Legislature has the authority to delegate rule-making powers to the governor.”
    The Legislature has NEVER discussed the ratification of ANY of the governor’s orders. Per the State Constitution, they had 28 days in which to approve of her orders. Since that never happened, her Emergency Status is Moot.
    ORS
    433.441
    ¹
    Proclamation of public health emergency
    (1)
    Upon the occurrence of a public health emergency, the Governor may declare a
    state of public health emergency as authorized by ORS
    433.441
    (Proclamation of
    public health emergency)
    to
    433.452
    (Detaining persons exposed to reportable
    condition or condition that is basis for state of public health emergency)
    to protect
    the public health.
    (2)
    A proclamation of a state of public health emergency must specify:
    (a)
    The nature of the public health emergency;
    (b)
    The political subdivision or geographic area subject to the proclamation;
    (c)
    The conditions
    that have brought about the public health emergency;
    and
    (d)
    ********The duration of the state of public health emergency, if the duration is less than
    14 days.*******
    and it continues:
    (5)
    A proclamation of a state of public health emergency expires when terminated by a
    declaration of the Governor or no more than 14 days after the date the public health
    emergency is proclaimed unless the Governor expressly extends the proclamation for
    an additional 14-day period.

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