Judge Tosses Bid to Recall Spokane Mayor

     SPOKANE, Wash. (CN) — A recall petition against Spokane Mayor David Condon was dismissed on Tuesday after a state court judge found a lack of information for the petition to proceed.
     David Green submitted the recall petition against Condon on Aug. 29, following an ethics investigation related to city personnel issues conducted earlier this year by Seabold Group investigator Kris Cappel. The results of the investigation were released in July.
     Cappel was hired to do the independent investigation after the Spokane chapter of the National Organization of Women brought an ethics complaint against Condon, over NOW’s concerns that Condon had covered up sexual harassment allegations from city employee Monique Cotton against then-Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub.
     Cotton told a fellow employee that Straub had berated her during a meeting using “sexually charged language” and tried to “forcibly kiss” her in a separate incident. Cotton expressed her concerns in April 2015, but said she did not want “an investigation” into the claims, according to city records.
     Condon’s administration then moved Cotton out of the police department and made her spokeswoman for Spokane Parks.
     Straub was asked to resign in September 2015, and filed a wrongful termination suit against the city a month later. Since Straub’s resignation, other city employees have sued the city. One of the suits was filed by former Spokane Parks spokeswoman Nancy Goodspeed, who said she was forced out of the position to make room for Cotton.
     Yakima County Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson said Green and those who signed the petition to recall Condon relied heavily on media information and unofficial sources to claim that the mayor had acted improperly in firing Straub, ignored sexual harassment complaints related to Straub and erred by hiring his replacement without city council approval.
     Gibson found Green did not back up his allegations with exhibits and transcripts related to the charges, according to reports from the Spokesman-Review.
     While litigation from former employees may continue for the city, Green told local media on Tuesday that he does not plan to appeal Gibson’s decision to the Washington Supreme Court.

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