Former City of Edmonds Human Resources Director Debi Humann, fired from her job Sept. 22 after Mayor Mike Cooper said he had lost confidence in her, filed a written complaint Thursday morning alleging she was wrongfully terminated from her job.
In her complaint, Humann — who is being represented by Seattle attorney Cliff Freed — said she was fired in retaliation for providing documents to the Washington State Auditor that “detailed improper payroll practices” after the Auditor’s Office received an anonymous complaint. A news release from Freed’s office stated that Humann’s termination “came almost immediately upon the heels of her advising the Mayor of her participation” in the audit.
“As my former position as HR Director requires, when allegations of violations are brought to my attention, I am required to take appropriate action,” Humann said.
Humann’s complaint is being filed in connection with the Local Government Employee Whistleblower Protection Act, RCW 42.41.050, the release said. Through that process, she is entitled to have a hearing before a state administrative law judge, who may award her back pay, attorneys’ fees and costs, and reinstatement to her job. The judge may also award personal monetary penalties against the Mayor, the release added.
“I look forward to having the facts come out through the report that will be issued by the State Auditors’ Office, and through the processes allowed for in city policies,” Humann said. “I am confident that the process will show that I acted at all times in the best interests of the citizens of Edmonds, that I rigorously followed the law, and that my termination was a direct result of reporting the wrongdoing and misuse of City funds that was evident to so many people at City Hall.”
You can read the entire news release here.