Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is being sued over an alleged $16,000 in unpaid credit card bills, according to court documents filed recently in Multnomah County Court. Bank of America sued Hardesty in late November claiming two of her credit card accounts are in default. Bank of America contacted Hardesty at least a month before filing the lawsuit. A lawyer for the bank wrote in a court filing that Hardesty owes $11,344.36 on one account and $4,707.18 on another, totaling $16.051.54.
In a written statement, Hardesty said she intends to pay the bank the money she owes. Adding, “When I ran for city council in 2018, like many working people I was reliant on a credit card and built-up debt.”“I live alone, without help, and put all of myself into my work at the city. Sometimes that means I neglect to take care of personal matters. I tried to work out a payment plan before with this debt that didn’t work out and intend to pay this off.”
Doug Ricks, a bankruptcy lawyer who is not involved with the Hardesty case called this suit a “garden variety” debt suit. Early this week Hardesty filed a five-million dollar lawsuit against the Portland Police Union, the former head of the Police Union, and a Portland Police officer for a media leak falsely implicating her in a hit and run crash.
Commissioner Hardesty has 30 days to respond to Bank of America’s lawsuit. She has yet to respond. As commissioner, Hardesty approves the city’s budget, along with the rest of the council.