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Former Lebanon city manager 'abrasive' and 'reactive,' investigation finds

KEZI 9 News obtained the investigation report, which indicates that each of the city's eight directors and three other employees described Marks as 'abrasive' and 'reactive.'

Posted: Oct 14, 2019 6:34 PM
Updated: Oct 14, 2019 6:40 PM

LEBANON, Ore. -- After months of back and forth, light is being shed on the sudden resignation of former Lebanon city manager Gary Marks.

In July, the city hired an outside attorney, Amy Ahrendt, to investigate allegations against Marks made by staffers at City Hall. KEZI 9 News obtained the 80-page confidential investigation report, which indicates that each of the city's eight directors and three other employees described Marks as 'abrasive' and 'reactive.'

RELATED: LEBANON CITY MANAGER RESIGNS, GETS $96K PAYOUT

According to the report, Marks had temper tantrums and was overly intense. They said he was emotional and prone to knee-jerk reactions. In general they said Marks' behavior was getting worse over time and that working with him was like walking on eggshells.

KEZI 9 News spoke with Mayor Paul Aziz who said that it was time for people to know the truth.

"The council did their due diligence in this report," said Aziz.  "We had a complaint, we did the report and in that report the council felt that the actions we took were necessary and justified and that's where we stand at this point."

The first time KEZI requested the investigation report, we were denied. After appealing to the Linn County District Attorney's Office, it was finally turned over.

Time after time, employees told an outside investigator that Marks was unprofessional and volatile, according to that report.

One person who complained was Lori O'Mara, Lebanon's former human resource director. She said Marks was waiting by her office one morning and started screaming at her because her door was locked.

Marks refuted that claim, telling the investigator that he was calm and his communication was "not outside the professional norm."

But that wasn't the only time.

O'Mara reported multiple times of incidents where marks humiliated her and others to the point of tears while at work.

She ultimately resigned as HR director, citing Marks' behavior toward her and others as a key element of her resignation.

The report noted that many of the incidents were not recent but states that there are sufficient recent examples to show that this behavior continued.

Back in September, KEZI also received documents outlining that Marks will be receiving more than $96,000 as part of his severance agreement. To view the severance agreement, click here

During the meeting where he originally resigned, Marks refused comment. Since then we have reached out for comment and there has still been no response.

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