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Mayor's Executive Assistant Resigns Less Than 6 Weeks Before Election

The departure of Kimberly Cole, who is also on the Lynnwood City Council, could be tied to last week's firing of Edmonds human resources director Debi Humann.

Less than six weeks before Edmonds Mayor Mike Cooper faces a general election that determines if he keeps his job, he’s lost his executive assistant.

Kimberly Cole, who is also a member of the Lynnwood City Council, resigned from her position on Sept. 22. Cooper could not be reached for comment, and human resources manager MaryAnn Hardie referred questions to Cooper. Hardie, the city's human resources manager, is now taking on some of the duties of Debi Humann, who .

According to sources at Edmonds City Hall, Humann’s firing allegedly came after some city staff members had complained about Cole's work hours and had contacted the State Auditor's office to look at her time sheets.

"We are looking at issues regarding compliance with city of Edmonds' payroll policy as part of our regular audit," said Mindy Chambers of the State Auditor's office. "Possible issues were brought to our attention by someone who contacted us anonymously."

The Herald of Everett reported last year that Cole served as Cooper’s legislative aide for two years when he served on the  Snohomish County Council. The Herald said the two first met when both ran for the county charter review commission, and Cole joined Cooper’s staff in July 2010 when he was appointed mayor by the Edmonds City Council after Gary Haakenson left to work for Snohomish County.

According to public salary information, Cole’s salary in Edmonds was $79,000 a year.

Cole was elected to the Lynnwood City Council, position No. 1, in November 2009. Her term there expires in December 2013.

Cole earned a bachelor’s degree in business at UOP Business School in Mountlake Terrace and is studying for the bar exam through Seattle University School of Law.

Cole did not return a request for comment.

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