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City Council Member Abandons Session After Veteran Confronts Her Over Her Service Record

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Portland, Oregon, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, an embattled far-left police-defunder, tends to mention her service in the U.S. Navy at the top of her personal backstory.

“[R]ight out of high school, I joined the Navy, and I loved it. I was stationed in the Philippines, working in the personnel office, and then had the opportunity to be on board ship. In fact, I was one of the first women to go on board ships,” her bio on the City of Portland website reads.

On that profile, it lists her as “Petty Officer Third Class, US Navy, USS Samuel Gompers 1978 – 1983.” That’s a vast overestimation of her service, according to a man who spoke before the Portland City Council last week — and the point had Hardesty walking out of the meeting.

According to The Post Millennial, the speaker — identified as Philip Tobias, who said he was a veteran — told the council he’d emailed Hardesty’s office “seeking clarification about some discrepancies” in her self-reported service record.

He said he hadn’t heard back even though he’d gotten responses from her on other occasions.

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So, he filed a Freedom of Information Act request for her military records.

While she was listed as serving aboard the USS Samuel Gompers from 1978 to 1983, he noted, a Portland Mercury endorsement of Hardesty in 2018 said “your campaign had given them paperwork. They said you were honorably discharged in 1979 before continuing in the reserves into 1984.”

“All of that is a lie,” the man said. “So, I’m just wondering what information you actually gave the Portland Mercury?”

“That’s not the only misinformation I found,” he continued. “In other interviews and on the city’s website you have said you served aboard the Samuel Gompers from 1978 to 1983.”

“As I said, I have your military records. That’s a lie. You served aboard for 13 months.”

On Twitter, an account that appears to belong to the man who appeared before the council — he was retweeted on the matter by conservative activist Andy Ngô, who has covered both Portland and Hardesty extensively on his social media accounts — said his FOIA request revealed Hardesty had only served aboard the Gompers from December of 1981 to January of 1983.

The man said he was “going to move off the military records for just a moment and talk about your fake college degree,” but was interrupted by Hardesty.

“Should I allow him to continue to lie about me on the public record?” she asked Mayor Ted Wheeler, chairing the meeting.

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After a bit of back and forth, Wheeler said the man could finish and then Hardesty could respond. While the man agreed to the terms, Hardesty got up and left the room.

“So back to the fake college degree on LinkedIn, Commissioner Hardesty claims an associate’s of business from the Community College of Baltimore,” the man continued. “But in the 2018 city filing for city commissioner, she admits that she dropped out and she does not have a college degree.”

“I just think between these numerous lies between her military service record and her fake college degree, you know, she’s misleading voters, taxpayers, and the customers of her business,” he said.

“As a veteran myself, I find this highly despicable, and like I said, I tried to talk to Joanne,” he continued.

“I tried to email her, and talk to her privately about this. I tried to schedule a meeting with her scheduler, to talk about this, and I was completely ignored for over a year, and that’s why I had to go through the trouble of filing a FOIA request to find out everything she told the Portland Mercury was a lie. All of it.”

Hardesty wasn’t there to respond, having stormed off to parts unknown.

“Obviously Commissioner Hardesty didn’t want to respond. We’ll just leave it there,” the mayor said.

Hardesty can be seen returning to the meeting about five minutes later in video of the meeting posted to the city’s website and to YouTube, which you can see here:



Hardesty’s response finally came a day after the Wednesday meeting, when she attacked her challenger in November’s election, Rene Gonzalez, implying a link between him and “right wing extremist Andy Ngo.”

“Why is Rene the darling of the far right?” she asked in her tweet.

Leaving aside the absurd claim there’s a significant far-right bloc of votes in hard-left Portlandia, the problem has more to do with the fact Rene is pretty much everyone’s “darling” in the November race, according to a poll published Friday by The Oregonian.

Gonzalez, a lawyer and business owner, was the choice of 49 percent of voters, with 22 percent going for Hardesty. Twenty-nine percent of likely voters were still undecided.

Should elected officials be allowed to act this way?

How have things gone so badly for Hardesty, the first black woman elected to the council? As Ngô noted, perhaps it’s the fact she was the loudest elected voice calling to defund the police in a city experiencing a murder spike.

Or maybe it’s the fact she called the self-same police she was busy defunding when a Lyft driver tried to cancel a ride on her; the driver said she was belligerent and refused to leave after he terminated the trip back from the Ilani Casino in Washington, according to KGW-TV.

Or perhaps it’s the fact she’s been sued by several creditors despite an annual salary of over $125,000, according to a December 2021 report from The Oregonian.

This is slightly amusing, given she’s a self-described “budget hawk” who calls herself “an excellent steward of public dollars.”

And now, if what this citizen said was accurate, she’s lied about her military and educational background, as well.

It’s more evidence that Portlanders desperately need to defund Jo Ann Hardesty, not the police.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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