Three Register-Guard Employees Placed On Leave After Lawsuit Trial

Sep 2, 2016

Three Register-Guard employees have been placed on paid administrative leave. This the day after a Lane County Circuit Court Judge dismissed a former reporter’s lawsuit against the paper.  The R-G is investigating the employees’ roles in the Markstrom case.

Credit Rachael McDonald

Randi Bjonstad is president of the Eugene Newspaper Guild and a longtime reporter with the paper. She was a lead witness for the plaintiff in Markstrom vs The Register Guard. She says she learned Thursday she was on administrative leave via phone and email messages from Human Resource Director Wendy Baker.
Bjornstad says she heard from two other employees who also received leave notices—Joe Clark and Horst Lueck. Both computer programmers were told they will be investigated for culpability with email issues revealed during trail.
Bjornstad points out they are union members long committed to the paper.
Bjornstad: “The three of us have a total of 76 years with the Register-Guard.  In fact, Friday is Joe Clark’s 36th anniversary with the paper. I’ve been there 28 years and Horst has been there a total of 12 years.”
The judge dismissed the Markstrom case with prejudice Wednesday, citing intentional destruction of evidence. Bjornstad says she intends to fully cooperate with the Register-Guard internal investigation. The Managing Editor of the newspaper refused to comment. [I’m Tiffany Eckert reporting.]