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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of the Ombudsman

A division of the Portland City Auditor's Office

phone: 503-823-0144

email: ombudsman@portlandoregon.gov

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 310, Portland, OR 97204

City Attorney

Year

Problem

Resolution

2016

An American Sign Language-speaking member of the public sought to file a complaint with the City Attorney’s Office regarding a sports bar’s failure to display closed captions on the bar’s televisions as required by the law. The City Attorney’s Office is responsible for enforcing the closed captioning requirements. Staff at the City Attorney’s Office did not accept the complaint and mistakenly referred the complainant to another office.

The Ombudsman facilitated communication between the complainant and the bureau. The City Attorney’s Office notified the sports bar of a potential code violation. The bar activated closed captioning on all of its screens and educated its staff about the law’s requirements. 

2013

A resident contacted the Ombudsman alleging that an expert consultant hired by the City Attorney’s Office was significantly overbilling the City. 

The Ombudsman investigated and was able to partially substantiate the allegations, finding clear instances of overbilling. In response to the Ombudsman’s recommendations, the City Attorney’s Office challenged certain billing items and recovered thousands of dollars that the City had overpaid to the consultant. The City Attorney’s Office also accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendation to add standard provisions to its expert consultant contracts that required itemized billing and created a mechanism for addressing disputed billed amounts.