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Oregon military deputy director retires

PORTLAND (AP) — The deputy director of the Oregon Military Department will retire next month following an accusation of inappropriate behavior toward an employee of the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

The employee accused Mike Caldwell of making an inappropriate suggestion in person and by text message at a state emergency preparedness conference in Hood River last month, the Willamette Week first reported.

Capt. Stephen Bomar, chief spokesman for the Military Department, said the incident resulted in no formal charges and no tort claim against the department.

The Oregon Military Department manages the Office of Emergency Management, as well as the Oregon Army and Air National Guard.

The departure of Caldwell, who is on medical leave this month, comes as two separate state investigations continue into the Military Department’s Human Resources Department and into the management of the Office of Emergency Management.

Bomar told The Oregonian newspaper the three issues are “totally separate.”

They come as the state’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Raymond F. Rees, prepares to retire next month. He will be succeeded by Gen. Daniel Hokanson.

Bomar said Rees confronted Caldwell, who has been his longtime advocate in the state Capitol, and Caldwell set his retirement date for July 1. Bomar said Caldwell, who was unavailable for comment, had informed Rees months ago of his intention to retire. Caldwell is the brother of Bob Caldwell, The Oregonian’s former editorial page editor who died last year.

Last week, Rees removed Martin Plotner from his role as director of the Office of Emergency Management, following two complaints by employees who said he engaged in unfair labor practices. The Department of Administrative Services is also looking into the practices of the Military Department’s human relations department, Bomar acknowledged.

Last month, the state Employment Relations Board upheld the dismissal of a former Military Department human relations analyst who had misrepresented his educational credentials.

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