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Updated: Former Edmonds HR Director Humann Sues City in Federal Court

Debi Humann alleges that the city and former Mayor Mike Cooper violated her constitutional rights and defamed her.

Debi Humann, former human resources director for the city of Edmonds, is suing the city and former Mayor Mike Cooper in federal court.

The complaint alleges that Cooper and the city “violated Ms. Humann’s constitutional rights and defamed her when Cooper made negative comments about her character and job performance in connection with her termination,” according to a statement Tuesday from her attorney, Cliff Freed.

“She contends that the Mayor knowingly made false statements to the media to protect his own reputation and to punish Ms. Humann for cooperating in a Washington State Auditor’s Office investigation into the controversy surrounding his assistant.”

Cooper fired Humann in September 2011 after she confronted him about payroll irregularities involving his .

Humann alleges that because of Cooper’s statements at the time about the breakdown of trust between the two, “her reputation in the community has been damaged and she has been unable to find a new job in the human resources field.”

Update, 3:00pm:

In the lawsuit (see the attached PDF on this story), filed Jan. 17, Debi Humann is seeking:

  • A city-conducted “name-clearing hearing” and a press release clearing her name;
  • Damages for “injury to her professional reputation … embarrassment, humiliation and emotional distress;”
  • Punitive damages against Cooper;
  • attorney fees and costs.

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Priya Sinha January 22, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Does she have any kind of advanced degree or training? In this economic climate, I would be interested in seeing how she can draw causation. Additionally, there are tons of public statements from the community at large that disputed any public allegations. I wonder how her lawyer will make those go away. It seems a pretty large hill to climb. Hey, but, what do I know. I'm not an employment lawyer.
Margaret Santjer January 22, 2013 at 11:17 PM
The story has been updated with what the lawsuit seeks, along with a copy of the filing.

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