2013 ORS § 30.285¹
Public body shall indemnify public officers
  • procedure for requesting counsel
  • extent of duty of state
  • obligation for judgment and attorney fees

(1) The governing body of any public body shall defend, save harmless and indemnify any of its officers, employees and agents, whether elective or appointive, against any tort claim or demand, whether groundless or otherwise, arising out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of duty.

(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this section do not apply in case of malfeasance in office or willful or wanton neglect of duty.

(3) If any civil action, suit or proceeding is brought against any state officer, employee or agent which on its face falls within the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, or which the state officer, employee or agent asserts to be based in fact upon an alleged act or omission in the performance of duty, the state officer, employee or agent may, after consulting with the Oregon Department of Administrative Services file a written request for counsel with the Attorney General. The Attorney General shall thereupon appear and defend the officer, employee or agent unless after investigation the Attorney General finds that the claim or demand does not arise out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of duty, or that the act or omission complained of amounted to malfeasance in office or willful or wanton neglect of duty, in which case the Attorney General shall reject defense of the claim.

(4) Any officer, employee or agent of the state against whom a claim within the scope of this section is made shall cooperate fully with the Attorney General and the department in the defense of such claim. If the Attorney General after consulting with the department determines that such officer, employee or agent has not so cooperated or has otherwise acted to prejudice defense of the claim, the Attorney General may at any time reject the defense of the claim.

(5) If the Attorney General rejects defense of a claim under subsection (3) of this section or this subsection, no public funds shall be paid in settlement of said claim or in payment of any judgment against such officer, employee or agent. Such action by the Attorney General shall not prejudice the right of the officer, employee or agent to assert and establish an appropriate proceedings that the claim or demand in fact arose out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the performance of duty, or that the act or omission complained of did not amount to malfeasance in office or willful or wanton neglect of duty, in which case the officer, employee or agent shall be indemnified against liability and reasonable costs of defending the claim, cost of such indemnification to be a charge against the Insurance Fund established by ORS 278.425 (Insurance Fund).

(6) Nothing in subsection (3), (4) or (5) of this section shall be deemed to increase the limits of liability of any public officer, agent or employee under ORS 30.260 (Definitions for ORS 30.260 to 30.300) to 30.300 (ORS 30.260 to 30.300 exclusive), or obviate the necessity of compliance with ORS 30.275 (Notice of claim) by any claimant, nor to affect the liability of the state itself or of any other public officer, agent or employee on any claim arising out of the same accident or occurrence.

(7) As used in this section, state officer, employee or agent includes district attorneys and deputy district attorneys, special prosecutors and law clerks of the office of district attorney who act in a prosecutorial capacity, but does not include any other employee of the office of district attorney or any employee of the justice or circuit courts whose salary is paid wholly or in part by the county. [1967 c.627 §7; 1975 c.609 §16; 1981 c.109 §5; 1981 c.913 §2; 1985 c.731 §22; 1987 c.763 §1; 2009 c.67 §11]