State to pay $1.3 million to official ousted after Cover Oregon fiasco
The state has agreed to pay $1.3 million to one of the architects of the Cover Oregon website disaster to head off a threatened wrongful termination lawsuit.
Caroline Lawson contends she was made a scapegoat for the failure of the state and its contractors to construct a working health care exchange website. The former chief information officer for the Oregon Health Authority claimed senior state officials covered up the truth, content to let her take the fall.
She quit in December 2013 under threat of getting fired. She's been unable to find work in information technology due to her role in Cover Oregon, her lawyers said. She filed a notice in March 2014 of her intent to sue the state for wrongful termination and defamation, among other things.
Lawson's complaint was backburnered for more than two years while the state battled Oracle Corp. in a separate but related lawsuit also spawned by the Cover Oregon saga. The state paid $240 million to Oracle to build the exchange and never got a fully functional website. The state fired Oracle in spring 2014 and killed the Cover Oregon project.