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Klamath Union varsity girls’ basketball coach Jamie Medley was charged with harassment on Feb. 26 after being placed on administrative in mid-February for an alleged assault on a player.

Fred Donahue, father of the victim and KU student Estelle Donahue, said the charge stemmed from Medley hitting his daughter, an 18-year-old, with a basketball at the KU gym during practice on Feb. 14. Fred said Estelle had her back turned to Medley and was walking away when Medley allegedly threw the ball and knocked the wind out of her.

KU varsity girls’ assistant coach, Erin Brunton, told the Herald and News that Medley actually passed the ball to Estelle during practice. Brunton said she and Medley felt the characterization of the situation was unfair.

Klamath Falls City Schools superintendent Paul Hillyer confirmed Medley was placed on administrative leave in mid February while the district conducted an investigation into her coaching.

Court records allege Medley intentionally harassed or annoyed Estelle by subjecting her to “offensive physical contact.”

Hillyer said the district’s investigation into the incident had concluded but it has yet to take follow-up action regarding Medley’s employment. He said the district would share public information on Medley’s future with the school next week.

Medley has a court arraignment scheduled for March 8 when she is expected to give her plea to the harassment charge.

Lead-up, incident accounts

Hillyer did not give an official account of what happened, but said the incident in question was caught on video footage by the school.

The Herald and News filed a public records request for the video. The Herald and News also requested all formal complaints filed against Medley since she was hired in August 2018 as well as results of the district’s investigation into her alleged misconduct.

Hillyer said Medley is a full-time paraprofessional employee with the district who, in addition to her coaching role, works with students on credit recovery.

Fred said the alleged assault came after months of contention between Medley and Estelle. He said he and his daughter met to speak about their concerns with KU Principal Tony Swan, Jamie Medley, Athletic Director Scott Mason and assistant coach Erin Brunton before the alleged physical harassment.

Hillyer confirmed these meetings and contact took place.

Fred said he did not feel their concerns regarding Medley’s coaching practices were taken seriously.

“As soon as a concern was expressed to us, we did our due diligence right away to investigate the concern,” Hillyer said.

Brunton told the Herald and News she and Medley were subjected to harassment, vandalism and threats by KU parents and other community members since December 2018. Brunton and Medley said they felt the district ignored their reports of misconduct.

Prior criminal charges

Medley was charged with first-degree forgery and first-degree theft in Deschutes County in March 2018 for allegedly depositing three forged cashier’s checks valuing more than $5,000, court records show. Records show these charges were dismissed on Feb. 14, 2019, after Medley and the alleged victims came to a civil compromise.

Hillyer said that to his knowledge, the district performed a formal criminal background check on Medley before she was hired in 2018. 

Lawsuit against former employer

Medley formerly coached basketball across the state at Gaston, Corvallis and Aloha high schools between 2008 and 2016, according to her personal website and LinkedIn account.

Medley was the head girls’ basketball coach at Gaston High School between 2008 and 2011, and Corvallis High School between 2011 and 2013.

In April 2014, Medley sued the the Gaston School District for $750,000, claiming Gaston shared information with Corvallis High School that led to her firing in 2013, court records show.

Medley voluntarily dismissed the suit in September 2014, records show.

In the 2014 complaint, Medley alleged that she and Gaston School District had an agreement when she resigned in 2011 to limit what Gaston could tell Medley’s future employers regarding her resignation.

According to Medley’s complaint, their agreement was for Gaston to only tell inquiring parties that Medley resigned without giving any further information.

Medley alleged Gaston breached their agreement by providing Corvallis High School with information that “far exceeded” these terms, and led to her 2013 firing.

The Herald and News will continue to report on this story as more information comes to light.