A Kirkland lawyer hired by the City of Edmonds has found that the overwhelming majority of , the former executive assistant to former Mayor Mike Cooper, are unfounded.
The 18-page investigatigative report was prepared by independent investigator Jim Webber of Kirkland, who was retained by the city’s WCIA-appointed counsel, and attorney Mark Bucklin of Keating, Bucklin & McCormack.
You can read the full report and findings in the accompanying PDF file.
In the report, Webber addresses 14 separate allegations that had been raised by Cole—a Lynnwood City Council member—finding that all but two and part of a third were either unfounded, not sustained, or if the facts were sustained, they did not constitute or suggest harassment.
Cole's lawyer, James Spencer, called the result "disappointing."
"It is disappointing that for the second time, (Edmonds Mayor Dave) Earling has used his recently acquired public position, and taxpayer resources, to publicly address Ms. Cole’s unfortunate experiences as an employee at the City of Edmonds. Even more disappointing is that the City has thus far failed to provide the report to Ms. Cole or her attorneys, even after they requested a copy of the report in December. The publication of the report ... was the first time Ms. Cole or her attorneys have had the privilege of seeing the conclusions reached by the investigator hired by the City."
Spencer continued: "It can be no surprise that the report generated by the City of Edmonds and its attorneys, very obviously in anticipation of litigation by Ms. Cole and likely subject to public disclosure, would reach the convenient conclusion that the actions and inactions of those in Ms. Cole’s work environment didn’t subject the City to any liability. Because Ms. Cole and her attorneys have been denied access to this document previously, neither she nor her attorneys have anything further to offer at this time."
The Cole investigation is one of two recent employment-related investigations involving former city employees. The other is an investigation into former Human Resources director Debi Humann’s claim of retaliation by Cooper, which was investigated by a different person and did not result in a written report.