Humann trial continues today, Tuesday

My Edmonds News is in the courtroom and will continue to post updates as they happen.

9:45 am: Opening statements concluded, plaintiff calls first witness, former Director of Economic Development Stephen Clifton. Questions centering on Mayor Cooper’s exec asst Kim Cole’s absences from the office and the impact of this on the work of the city. Clifton characterizes absences as “chronic” and had “negative impact on the work of others.”

10:45 am: Clifton’s testimony continues. Related a meeting with Humann and Mayor Cooper in February 2011 to discuss ongoing issues with Cole’s chronic absences, time sheets and work performance. Testified that Cooper stated that his reports would reflect that Cole worked 40-hour work weeks, to which Clifton responded “Mike, how can you say that!”

Clifton also testified that Cooper “never expressed to me that he was accommodating a disability for Kim Cole” in reference to schedule flexibility.

11:30 am: Clifton under cross examination by Jayne Freeman, attorney for the City of Edmonds, testifies that he was “surprised and puzzled” by Humann’s abrupt termination by Cooper in September 2011

12:00 pm: Court recessed for lunch. Clifton testimony will continue this afternoon.

2:00 pm: Edmonds Police Chief Al Compaan on stand responding to questions from Beth Bloom, attorney for Debi Humann. Testified that Debi was “knowledgable, helpful, professional.” Testified that Kim Cole’s pattern of absences from the workplace created an “awkward situation, which deteriorated as time went on.”

2:15 pm: Compaan states he was “stunned” by Humann’s termination, and the action “came out of left field.”

3:15 pm: Former Mayor Mike Cooper takes the stand.

3:30 pm: Cooper responding to a series of questions about his past relationship with Kim Cole when he was her supervisor at the Snohomish County Council. Testified he was aware of “widespread concerns” that she was being paid for full time but not working full time, and that he had meetings with then-council president Dave Gossett, during which these concerns were discussed.

3:45 pm: Cooper says that upon taking office as Edmonds mayor he was presented with “approximately 100” applications for position of executive assistant to the mayor. He determined Kim Cole was best qualified for the position.

4:00 pm: Cooper testified that the work schedule flexibility he granted to Kim Cole was in part to accommodate a disability. He further testified that Cole had specifically asked him to keep this confidential, and that he chose to honor this request, which included not sharing this with HR Director Humann. He stressed several times that despite these accommodations, which included flex time, Cole worked 40 hour weeks.

Cooper’s testimony will continue on Wednesday. Other witnesses will include former mayor Gary Haakenson and former city councilmember Michael Plunkett.

Court adjourned at 4:15 pm.

Reported by Larry Vogel

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