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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Pays Out $15 Million In Foster Care Abuse Lawsuit

Chris Phan
Flickr -

The state of Oregon has agreed to pay out $15 million in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of nine children who were sexually abused while in foster care.

The abuse happened at the hands of a foster parent named James Mooney. The Salem man is serving a 50-year prison sentence. The children were among dozens placed in Mooney's home before the abuse was discovered.

In a statement, the interim director of the Oregon Department of Human Services, Clyde Saiki, said that the agency knows, understands and admits responsibility for the damages suffered by the children that were involved in this lawsuit. The settlement reflects the agency's accountability, in Saiki's words, “for failing to ensure the safety of the children in its care.”

The state agreed to the settlement last week. In November Governor Kate Brown announced an independent review of the Oregon Department of Human Services.