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Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

Document 286

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THE HONORABLE JAMES L. ROBART

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

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WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE

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LONDI K. LINDELL,

 

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No. CV 08-1827 JLR

Plaintiff,

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DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL IN OPPOSITION OF DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT

v.

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CITY OF MERCER ISLAND, a Washington

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municipal corporation; MERCER ISLAND CITY MANAGER RICHARD CONRAD, in his official

 

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and individual capacities; MERCER ISLAND DEPUTY MAYOR JIM PEARMAN, in his

NOTE ON MOTION CALENDAR:

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official and individual capacities; MERCER ISLAND COUNCILMEMBER ERNEST

January 28, 2011

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JAHNCKE, in his official and individual capacities; MERCER ISLAND FINANCE

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DIRECTOR CHARLES CORDER, in his official and individual capacities,

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Defendants.

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DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. CV 08-1827 JLR) Page i

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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I, Londi K. Lindell, being duly sworn on oath under penalty of perjury under the laws of

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Washington State and the United States depose and say:

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1. I am the Plaintiff in the above-captioned matter.

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2. I am over the age of eighteen and competent to testify to the matters set forth

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herein based upon my personal knowledge. Below is a summary of the facts which gave rise to

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my claims against the City, and are abbreviated for the Court’s convenience. Should the Court

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wish to review a more detailed set of facts, I have attached to my declaration my most recent

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answers to the interrogatories which further outline the factual basis of my claims. Attached as

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Exhibit A is a true and correct copy of the relevant interrogatory answers.

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3.

I served the City of Mercer Island for approximately eight years, first as City

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Attorney, and then, after being promoted to second-in-command, as Deputy City Manager.

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Throughout my employment, I always received the highest rating for my performance

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(“outstanding”) from City Manager Rich Conrad (“City Manager Conrad”), who praised me for

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my professionalism, good nature and loyalty. He told me and wrote that I was “one of the City’s

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greatest assets.” He also wrote that I was "the consummate team player." Attached as Exhibits C-

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F are true and correct copies of some my performance evaluations while I was working at the

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City of Mercer Island. In January 2007, I was promoted to Deputy City Manager, the second

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highest position within the City. At that time, HR Director Segle even advocated for my

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promotion to Deputy City Manager stating, “I absolutely believe you can and should trust her.”

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Attached as Exhibit G is a true and correct copy of this email from Segle. Attached as Exhibit

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H is a true and correct copy of the City of Mercer Island Job Description for Deputy City

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Manager.

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4.

Prior to working at Mercer Island, I worked about nine years at the City of

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Federal Way ultimately being promoted to the number two position, Assistant City

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Manager/City Attorney. Prior to that I worked at Graham & Dunn, doing primarily land use and

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real estate transaction work. I graduated with honors from Seattle University School of Law in

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 1

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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1984. I have always taken great pride in my work, and very much valued my job at Mercer

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Island, and had built a strong relationship with my peers and the City Council. The Mercer

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Island job worked very well for me, since I was also taking care of my family and lived across

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the bridge in Bellevue. I was able to balance my work life with my family life well, and was

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very proud of my work and the ability to play a significant role in supporting my family.

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5.

I enjoyed my years of employment at the City of Mercer Island and was committed

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to Mercer Island. I was content being the Deputy City Manager, as the flexible hours and time

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commitment allowed me to maintain a balance between my professional and work life raising two

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school age children. I was offered the City Manager position at the City of Federal Way, a higher

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paying position, but I turned it down twice because I wanted to work at the city of Mercer Island,

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and did not want the commute or the added responsibilities of being in charge of a City while

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raising school age children. I dispute any and all claims that I somehow wanted to take Rich

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Conrad's job or unseat him. It simply was not feasible or attractive to me as a mother or as a

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professional. I would not have considered it in 2007 and told Conrad and others I wasn't interested

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in added responsibilities until after my daughters were out of high school and off to college, which

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won't occur until 2015. Since being fired, I have applied for city manager jobs and many others in

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different areas because now, I am open to any job in my field and simply want to get back to work

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as soon as possible.

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6.

During the time when I was the Mercer Island City Attorney I learned from City

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Manager Conrad that he had solicited sex from City Clerk Tina Eggers and later retaliated against

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her quite seriously when she refused his advances. He even threatened her employment. This

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information was hidden from me for over a year by both Rich Conrad and Kryss Seigle, who was

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in charge of Human Resources.

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This was a very serious issue and could have led to City Manager Conrad being

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fired. Conrad was my direct supervisor who had long time relationships with many members of

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the City Council, who ultimately performed his reviews and controlled his discipline, pay, and

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 2

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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continued employment. Rich Conrad had the same power over me. Mr. Conrad had been employed

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at Mercer Island for over 20 years and had long established friendships with directors whom he

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supervised and with the City Councilmembers. He set my pay, reviewed me, and had the ability to

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fire me. Needless to say, the whole episode involving Mr. Conrad and Ms. Eggers was very

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difficult for me, and very disappointing. Had I been timely notified of the initial incident, I could

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have possibly prevented much of what followed, including the retaliation. It was very difficult to

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have my direct supervisor and essentially the CEO of a City with a weak mayor system being

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investigated and to have the City Council who had personal friendships with Mr. Conrad

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overseeing his investigation, when serious allegations of harassment and retaliation had been made

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that would have resulted in the firing of anyone else at the City. I supposedly had the responsibility

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to oversee the investigation as City Attorney, but in fact, I had no control over the ultimate

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disposition of his future employment or discipline.

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8.

Due to my conflict of interest as his subordinate, I hired an outside investigator,

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Amy Stephson who is also an attorney. She was hired to conduct an investigation into Ms. Egger's

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complaint. I assisted Ms. Stephson in completing her investigative report, a draft of which is

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included as Exhibit DDD to Scott Blankenship’s declaration since it is being filed under seal. I do

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not believe that it should have been stamped confidential by Defendants considering that it was

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produced as part of the Marcella Reed investigation and file, which the Court found was not

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privileged or work product.

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9.

The original draft of Ms. Stephson’s report was 17 pages long; however, upon the

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extreme pressure and constant urging of City Manager Conrad who was home on administrative

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leave, the report was reduced to 8 pages. Despite him being home in order to keep him out of the

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investigation, he called me almost on a daily basis to pressure me to make sure that he did not lose

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his job, asking me to protect him and lobby the City Council on his behalf. I know that he had

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similar conversations with Pete Mayer, and I would presume others.

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DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 3

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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10.

Conrad yelled at me, upset that the investigative report was seventeen pages long,

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became enraged and directed me to get it shortened. Conrad told me he was concerned that it

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would be produced pursuant to a Public Records Act request and be in the newspapers. He was

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right that it would be subject to production from a Public Records Act request, and I regrettably

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succumbed to his pressure. Mayor Merkle, who ultimately would author the discipline (that I was

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required to participate in drafting), made it clear to me that the City Council wanted to keep Rich

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Conrad at the City despite the findings. As a result, the original Stephson report was sanitized and

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cut down to only 8 pages. Attached as Exhibit I is a true and correct copy of the final Amy

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Stephson investigative report, which still shows the magnitude of the allegations and admissions of

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misconduct by my boss and direct supervisor, Rich Conrad.

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The City incorrectly states that as City Attorney I concluded that Conrad had not

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violated any sexual harassment laws, a fact that I dispute now and did so at my deposition. In

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fact, after the Stephson Investigation, I provided a copy of the Stephson Report to Mayor

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Merkle and gave him a verbal report of legal risks, including briefing him on the longer version

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of the Report and other things that I had learned through the investigation.

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12.

Since Ms. Eggers had actually hired counsel and filed a claim, Mayor Merkle

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and I then received legal advice from a third party attorney (outside counsel), a high level

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partner at a firm that practices exclusively in representing employers, who advised Mayor

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Merkle and me that if Eggers’ sexual harassment complaint went to trial, the City would most

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likely lose. I believed him and agreed with him.

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13.

After Merkle discussed potential findings and discipline of Conrad with the City

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Council, the Council decided to retain Conrad as City Manager. I had no ability to decide on the

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level of Conrad’s discipline, without putting my job at risk, and the ultimate decision-maker

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was the City Council. After the discipline was decided, Merkle, with my assistance, prepared the

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disciplinary memo that concludes Conrad violated the City's anti-harassment policy but he did

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not engage in quid pro quo harassment or create a hostile work environment. I did not believe

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 4

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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this to be the case; however, I understood the discipline memo was a public record as did Mayor

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Merkle who was a lawyer, and a legal finding of wrongdoing under the antidiscrimination laws

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would most certainly harm the City if Conrad was not going to be fired as part of that finding.

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14.

Concluding that Conrad had violated state and federal employment law was

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never even discussed as an option after the Mayor and City Council made the decision to keep

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him employed. I hoped that this was a blip on the radar, and that Rich Conrad would get the

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message. I was wrong; he simply could not control himself, as Marcella Reed later accurately

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concluded.

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City Manager Conrad was disciplined for his conduct, including being suspended

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without pay for two weeks (one week stayed), denied a raise for the following year, and ordered

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to take sexual and anti-harassment training. Attached as Exhibit J is a true and correct copy of

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the Discipline Memo that is addressed to Rich Conrad from Mayor Merkle with copies to the

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City Council. Notably, I was not named as the author of the discipline memo and the memo

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was not even copied to me. The memo did not contain my legal conclusion that Conrad had

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created a possible and legally cognizable hostile work environment and a possible and legally

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cognizable retaliation claim by Ms. Eggers. It could not contain my personal legal opinion since

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the City Council had decided to retain him as City Manager. I was an employee of the City. I

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was not in charge of Conrad, who was supervised by the City Council; he was in charge of me

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and very concerned about his reputation and future employment.

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16.

Ms. Eggers, the former City Clerk, ultimately ended up hiring an attorney after

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filing a claim for damages. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the City and Ms. Eggers

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participated in mediation which resulted in Ms. Eggers leaving the City and being paid

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approximately $90,000.

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Although Conrad voiced to me that I had saved him, our relationship was forever

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changed in a negative way, and he treated me differently because I supported some form of

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discipline. He actually told me that I had not done enough to protect him, and although he too

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 5

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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admitted much of the misconduct, he still told me that he should not have even been disciplined

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at all and that "he had done nothing wrong.” It appeared to me that he blamed me for the

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limited discipline that he did receive. I told Conrad that his actions had caused serious exposure

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to the City, and that it could come back to haunt the City, and that discipline was necessary and

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essential.

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He held this against me, and he became very angry when I did have the ability to

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appropriately apply the law and follow it, when a Public Records Act request was made by a

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citizen. I told Conrad I had to comply with the Public Records Act and supply the disciplinary

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memo. Conrad was livid with me and actually went over my head to get a second legal opinion

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from non-lawyer Director Lew Leigh from the Washington Cities Insurance Authority

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(“WCIA”), the pooled fund of insurance money.

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Conrad directed me under no uncertain terms not to release the Stephson Report,

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and I did not release it even though I believe that it related to the discipline of a City Manager

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and that it was a public record that should be disclosed. He ordered me to withhold it and I did

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fearing retaliation. He also directed me to destroy the Tina Eggers file, and I refused to do so

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over his very vocal and angry objection.

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20.

Kryss Segle was also disciplined relating to the Eggers incident for her role in

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not reporting the sexual harassment once she knew about it. HR Manager Segle received a

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written warning for violating City policy; a true and correct copy of this warning is attached as

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Exhibit K.

Despite Segle being disciplined for this serious breach of policy and procedure, City

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Manager Conrad promoted Segle to HR Director from manager – the top position overseeing all

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aspects of human resources.

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Even though the City had recently investigated and settled a sexual harassment

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claim, offensive and sexually inappropriate e-mails were still commonplace between

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employees. Attached as Exhibits L-N are a few examples of emails which were being

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exchanged by city employees. Additionally, employees had also complained that HR Director

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 6

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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Segle dressed overly provocatively. In response, HR Director Segle and City Attorney Knight

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were instructed to revise the City’s dress code. The PowerPoint presentation prepared by Segle

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and Knight made direct references to the City’s Segle’s past lingerie shows with a slide that

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stated: “Sorry folks, no more lingerie shows at lunch time!” Attached as Exhibit O is a true and

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correct copy of the dress code presentation.

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22.

Conversations often became sexually inappropriate and crossed the line. For

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example, after conducting an exit interview with a police detective who was retiring, HR

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Director Segle broadcasted to City employees that she was not wearing any underwear and had

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accidentally flashed the detective, exposing herself, resulting in a sexually offensive office-wide

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joke. The joking was the most concerning, given that it was coming out of the HR office and the

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police department, and from Katie Knight of the City Attorney's office. Segle told me that she

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thought that the detective had seen up her skirt, and she was naked under it. Moreover, Leslie

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Burns apparently confirmed it according to Ms. Knight, (as confirmed by the Reed Statement to

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Knight).

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23.

Although Defendant denies that the flashing occurred, I was offended and

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complained to Rich Conrad, Pete Mayer and Bob Sterbank about HR Director Segle joking

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about having a "Brazilian wax job" so her pubic area was "hardwood instead of shag carpeting."

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She said this in the hallway openly with Katie Knight, and employees could have overheard

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these types of comment, which continued. In fact, employees did hear similar comments from

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Segle as is apparent in Joy Johnston's statement to Marcella Reed, and this led to the joke

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continuing with an employee bringing panties to work for Ms. Segle’s missing underwear and a

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toupee for her missing pubic hair. I also opposed this conduct, but Conrad did nothing.

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Despite knowing about this incident and even hearing about it from Segle that

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she was not wearing underwear and that the detective probably saw up her skirt and that Conrad

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would likely hear giggling and joking, City Manager Conrad disregarded my specific

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DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 7

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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complaints about the behavior and failed to take any effective remedial measures or disciplinary

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action against Segle.

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I began to have serious concerns over City Manager Conrad’s relationship with

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HR Director Segle, starting with the Eggers’ complaint, and based on comments he would make

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like "Kryss and I have a special connection you can't understand,” “I will leave the City if Kryss

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leaves,” “Kryss is the only reason I want to get up in the morning and come to work,” and “I'm

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not going to have a male bureaucrat in the office next to me.” I also was troubled by his overly

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emotional response to Ms. Segle's threats to resign and opposed Conrad comparing his

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relationship with Ms. Segle to my marital relationship with my husband and telling me my

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inability to have these types of close intimate personal relationships at work hurt me.

These

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comments by Conrad were eerily similar to the way he had described his relationship with Ms.

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Eggers. During the Eggers’ sexual harassment investigation, Conrad told both Investigator

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Stephson and me that he had a special “connection” with Ms. Eggers; she was one of the

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reasons he wanted to get up in the morning and come to work. He also had an emotional

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response to Eggers’ suggestion she might leave the City and sent her overly emotional emails. I

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objected to Mr. Conrad's unprofessional and emotionally intimate relationship with Ms. Segle

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because I saw it was causing him to ignore my complaints and fail to comply with

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discrimination and anti-harassment laws such as refusing to take any action against Ms. Segle

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and Ms. Knight for the flashing joking or his anger and retaliation against me for insisting that

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Mr. Segle be disciplined for violating discrimination and anti-harassment laws.

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26.

In the fall of 2007, Conrad inappropriately interfered in the discipline of HR

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Director Segle’s husband, Johnny Segle, refused to hold HR Director Segle accountable for

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violations of policy when she wrote her husband’s grievance against that discipline and

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retaliated against me when I complained that a violation of discrimination laws had occurred. I

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worried that history was repeating itself, with Conrad now covering for the Segles’ breaches of

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the City’s anti-harassment policy just as Segle had covered for Conrad earlier for his breaches

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 8

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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of the City’s anti-harassment policy when he propositioned a female subordinate for sex. Now it

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appeared that Conrad was returning the favor, and trying to cover for Kryss Segle's husband.

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Marcella Reed found that Conrad was “not candid” about how he handled disciplining the

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Segles.

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27.

The investigation began in June 2007. Maintenance workers were caught

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watching a video of animals having sex during work hours and were yelling sexually offensive

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comments like “look at the size of that thing” referring to the animal's penis, and “look at them

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go at it.” Johnny Segle, the husband of Kryss Segle the HR Director, was watching the animal

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sex video although he later denied seeing the video. This occurred with at least one female

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present. It was a serious matter and the City Attorney, Segle’s Department Director Boettcher

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and I all supported discipline for Segle and the other involved City employees. Prior to any

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disciplinary action being taken, the employees were counseled by their supervisor. During the

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counseling, Johnny Segle made a highly inappropriately comment undermining the supervisor

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and the seriousness of the matter by stating something to the effect of, “what, no more boobies.”

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This also implied that he and possibly other maintenance workers were looking at naked

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pictures of women while at work.

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28.

As HR Director Segle was prohibited from handling issues involving her

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husband, I was directed by Conrad to step in. Within less than two weeks of being notified of

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the incident, I completed my investigation of the incident, and handed off the final decision to

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the Department Directors, recommending the lowest level of written discipline. Attached as

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Exhibit P is a true and correct copy of my email and a draft of the Johnny Segle discipline

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memo. Attached as Exhibit Q is a true and correct copy of the final signed version of the

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Johnny Segle discipline memo.

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29.

The retaliation against me started almost immediately after I completed the

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investigation of Mr. Segle and recommended the lowest level of written discipline. Mr. Conrad

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started to raise performance issues about my handling of the sexual harassment investigation

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 9

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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Filed 01/24/11

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and my recommended discipline telling me “you've really screwed this up Londi,” “This is not

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the way Kryss would have handled it,” “You should never have referred to the boobie comment

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as a sexually explicit comment,” “I've heard you women say a lot worse things,” and blaming

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me for the delay in delivering the discipline to Mr. Segle even though the record clearing shows

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I completed my work within 2 weeks of being assigned the task. I heard Mr. Conrad testify that

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he disagreed with how I handled Mr. Segle's harassment investigation,; that he thought my

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interpretation of discrimination and anti-harassment laws was "heavy handed" and although Mr.

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and Mrs. Segle were the employees engaging in the misconduct, Mr. Conrad "blamed" me.

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Conrad dep. Transcript at 189: 17 - 190: 23; 197: 19 - 198: 4; 206: 11 - 207: 4.

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30.

HR Manager Segle, upset that her husband received discipline, drafted Johnny

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Segle’s grievance opposing the discipline for her husband and consulted with Conrad before

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Johnny submitted the grievance. HR Manager Segle’s involvement in her husband’s grievance

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and Conrad’s knowledge of her involvement is reflected in Segle’s discipline attached to my

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declaration as Exhibit R. Segle also lobbied Conrad to intervene in Johnny’s discipline,

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threatening to resign if he did not reduce Johnny’s write-up to a warning. In response, City

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Manager Conrad stated he was “tempted to break all the rules” by “tearing up” Johnny’s

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discipline and implementing an “alternative process.” Attached as Exhibits S-U are true and

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correct copies of email correspondence between City Manager Conrad and HR Director Segle

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reflecting these conversations.

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31.

Upon my discovery that Conrad was planning on not following the City anti-

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harassment policies, I voiced my opposition, telling Conrad that he was failing to take my

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complaints seriously. City Attorney Bob Sterbank was also very concerned, and drafted a legal

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memorandum on October 3, 2007, advising Conrad that such conduct could place the City at

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risk by tolerating sexual harassment and discussing liability for both quid pro quo harassment

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and a hostile work environment. Sterbank noted in his memo that Conrad's failure to take

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corrective actions for Ms. Segle's attire such as the flashing incident could be seen as creating a

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 10

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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Filed 01/24/11

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hostile work environment. Sterbank also noted that Conrad's refusal to consider my complaints

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was making me physically sick. Sterbank provided me with a copy of this memo. Attached as

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Exhibit V is a true and correct copy of Sterbank’s October 3, 2007 memo.

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32.

Conrad became furious upon receipt of the Sterbank Memo. Conrad advised me

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that Sterbank was to be fired, and directed me to pressure Sterbank to revise the memo. I refused,

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and opposed Conrad's retaliation of Sterbank by telling him that firing Sterbank constituted

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retaliation and would further expose the City. Conrad's threats to fire Sterbank were made in the

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pressence of Assistant City Manager Pete Mayer. Mayer Declaration, Dkt. 54.

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33.

Conrad then pressured me, as well as the Assistant City Manager Mayer, to conduct

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a sham investigation to invalidate Sterbank’s memo and “clear his name.” In this “investigation”

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Conrad would select the witnesses, write the questions and sit in the room while I interviewed

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the witnesses about his conduct. I sent Conrad an email opposing his conduct. Exhibit X is a true

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and correct copy of this email. Conrad grew even more upset when Mayer and I refused be part

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of this process and I explained that discrimination laws required a neutral and confidential

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investigation upon an accusation of sexual harassment and that I was feeling harassed to take

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actions inconsistent with federal and state laws that guarantee a discriminatory free work

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environment.

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34.

After both Mr. Mayer and I refused Mr. Conrad, he directed us to attend a meeting

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with Anne Pflug, a former City Manager. Prior to my interview but after Ms. Pflug had

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interviewed Conrad, Segle, Boettcher and Sterbank, she suggested the City conduct an

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investigation. At the Pflug meeting, Mr. Conrad again stated his retaliatory intent toward Sterbank

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by admitting he had told the Mayor Cairns that Sterbank may not be working out. Both Sterbank

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and I opposed Conrad's retaliation at this meeting and due to the conflict of interest, it was decided

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the City should hire an outside independent investigator. Attached as Exhibit W is a true and

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correct copy of the City’s Anti-Harassment Policy.

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DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 11

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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Filed 01/24/11

Page 13 of 33

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35.

Eventually the City hired outside investigator Marcella Reed to conduct an

2

investigation into the claims from the Sterbank memo including whether Conrad had created a

3

hostile work environment or engaged in quid pro quo harassment. Attached as Exhibit Z is a true

4

and correct copy of Marcella Reed’s Resume. Defendants have tried to characterize her

5

investigation as simply an internal administrative investigation having nothing to do with

6

discrimination or harassment laws. Ms. Reed labeled her investigation as the C&S Investigation,

7

which she testified stood for Conrad and Segle, and she was hired as a result of Sterbank's memo

8

which set forth his concerns and my complaints about Conrad's and Segle's conduct. Ms. Reed

9

also advised me she reviewed the Tina Eggers file in preparing for my interview.

10

36.

Conrad's retaliation and harassment of me escalated once Marcella Reed was

11

hired. Conrad would come into my office or direct me to come into his office, where he would

12

close the door and start screaming at me at the top of his lungs and using profanity. Although

13

Pete Mayer and Bob Sterbank also opposed Mr. Conrad and Ms. Segle's conduct, Conrad did

14

not harass these male employees in the same way he attacked me.

He was angry that I wouldn't

15

support the retaliatory firing of Sterbank. He was angry that I wouldn't testify in a manner so he

16

could “trust me,” which I interpreted to mean he wanted me to lie for him during the Reed

17

investigation. He told me I was the key and it would be totally unfair if he was disciplined in

18

any way as a result of the Reed investigation. He got very angry at me when he had to hire an

19

attorney and told me the City should pay for his legal fees. He blamed me for the investigation

20

and said none of this would have happened if I had spoken up for him and not complained. He

21

asked me to lobby Council on his behalf and I refused to do so. He told me my refusals were

22

making him lose trust in me and that he was trying not to believe the conspiracy theories but it

23

was getting difficult. I complained about Conrad’s conduct to Ms. Reed and she recorded it in

24

my interview. Further, City Clerk Speitz heard one of his screaming episodes at me and both

25

she and Ms. Segle testified to Ms. Reed about Conrad yelling at me. I recalled that this

26

physically intimidating and angry behavior was exactly what he did to Tina Eggers after she

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 12

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complained. See e.g. Lindell Interview at 31 (Exh. K)(screaming “I am just fucking out of here, if I

2

can't be friends with Kryss, fuck it!”); Spietz Interview at 5 (Exh. M) (City Clerk Ali Spietz

3

recounting hearing Conrad yelling at Lindell, noting that she had “heard Conrad on the phone in

4

heated exchanges with citizens, but never anything like what she heard between Conrad and Lindell.

5

Lindell never elevated her voice during this exchange, which lasted about an hour.”); Segle

6

Interview at 13 (Exh. G)(“Conrad was also heard yelling at Lindell, saying that Kryss might leave

7

over this issue and that he might, as well.” ).

8

37.

Although Conrad was instructed to refrain from lobbying or communicating with

9

any of the witnesses during the Reed Investigation, he began meeting individually with City

10

employees. Conrad asked me to contact City Councilmembers and employees to convince them he

11

had done nothing wrong and he kept telling me I was the "key" to him surviving this discipline.

12

When I refused him, opposing his conduct by complaining to both Mr. Mayer and Mr. Sterbank

13

about it, Conrad's retaliation escalated and he told me he was losing trust in me and that people

14

were starting to wonder what my motives were for complaining. Conrad went so far as accusing

15

me of having an affair or some type of questionable relationship with Mr. Sterbank similar to the

16

threat he made to Ms. Eggers, which was totally false and offensive to me. Pete Mayer also told

17

me that Conrad had placed a straw on a table and told him he had to pick sides between Conrad

18

and me and that Mr. Mayer was naïve not to believe I was part of a conspiracy to get him fired. I

19

provided truthful information to Ms. Reed during the investigation, including that I objected to Ms.

20

Segle and Ms. Knight's joking about the flashing incident and I objected to Conrad screaming and

21

yelling at me when he didn't treat my male colleagues in a similar fashion. However, I did not

22

volunteer all information, as I feared for my job, especially with Conrad’s continued pressure to

23

protect him. I provided Marcella Reed with a chronology I began keeping in September 2007

24

which recorded much of my protected and opposition activity. Attached as Exhibit B is a true and

25

correct copy of my chronology I submitted to Marcella Reed.

26

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 13

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

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38.

After Conrad was instructed to refrain from communicating with any of the

2

witnesses during the Reed Investigation, he went to Chip Corder because I complained to him that

3

he was paying Ms. Segle in violation of the City’s compensation policy. Attached as Exhibit YY is

4

a

true and correct copy of an email from Conrad to Corder setting forth my complaint that Conrad

5

was treating Ms. Segle differently than her male colleagues regarding compensation. Not only did

6

I

oppose Conrad’s disparate treatment of Segle but I also opposed Conrad starting his own

7

investigation into the compensation issue at the same time that Reed was commencing her

8

investigation into his conduct and after he had been directed not to communicate with witnesses.

9

39.

During her investigation, Marcella Reed reviewed voluminous documents

10

submitted by City employees and completed thirteen interviews. Attached as Exhibit AA are true

11

and correct copies of Marcella Reed’s interview list and index of documents reviewed. Also

12

attached are true and correct copies of the relevant excerpts from Reed’s notes from interviews

13

with myself (Exhibit CC), Katie Knight (Exhibit DD) , Rich Conrad (11-18-07 - Exhibt EE), Rich

14

Conrad (11-13-07 & 11-15-07 Exhibit FF), Chip Corder (Exhibit GG), Joy Johnston (Exhibit HH),

15

Glenn Boettcher (Exhibit II), Kryss Segle (11-8-07 – Exhibit JJ), Kryss Segle (11-13-07 – Exhibit

16

KK) and Ali Spietz (Exhibit LL). Attached as Exhibit BB is a true and correct copy of Marcella

17

Reed’s declaration verifying her records.

18

40.

I was told by Mr. Conrad and Councilmember Dan Grausz that Marcella Reed

19

would be giving the City Council her report on December 3, 2007 and Mr. Grausz told me

20

“things weren’t looking good for Mr. Conrad.”

Attached as Exhibit OO is a true and correct

21

copy of an email evidencing the City Council meeting and Exhibit PP is a true and correct copy

22

of notes that Holmes created regarding the meeting. Ms. Reed’s findings substantiated my

23

concerns, including that City Manager Conrad and HR Director Segle had “an emotionally

24

intimate relationship" which Segle used “to influence the disposition of discipline issued to her

25

husband.” Reed also concluded that my concern over Mr. Conrad’s refusal to discipline Ms.

26

Segle for joking about her failure to wear underwear to work and possibly flashing a police

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 14

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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Filed 01/24/11

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employee and my complaints that Conrad’s yelling and intimidating behavior was

2

discriminatory and harassing could result in “potentially successful gender discrimination,

3

sexual harassment, and hostile work environment claims.” Attached as Exhibit QQ is a true and

4

correct copy of Investigator Reed’s findings. Although Defendants’ attempt to discount Reed’s

5

findings by suggesting that Ms. Reed’s findings were made in the middle of her investigation

6

on November 15, 2007, in response to Conrad’s concerns about delays, Acting City Attorney

7

Bolasina noted that he was “optimistic” that the investigation would be “wrapp[ed] up by 12/3.”

8

Attached as Exhibit RR is a true and correct copy of Bolasina’s email.

9

41.

Most significantly, Ms. Reed found that four employees were at risk of being

10

retaliated against by City Manager Conrad. Of those four were Bob Sterbank (offered a

11

severance of $137,000 and left the City soon after Reed’s investigation), myself (terminated in

12

April 2008), and Pete Mayer (resigned after he suffered retaliation.) Attached as Exhibit UU is

13

a true and correct copy of Sterbank’s severance agreement which was filed by Sterbank’s

14

attorney. The WCIA (Washington Cities Insurance Association), agreed to only pay $50,000 of

15

Bob Sterbank’s severance as reflected in the attached Exhibit VV. In fact, Sterbank has

16

continued to suffer retaliation by the City even after his termination. The City has alleged in

17

their pleadings in this case that Bob Sterbank has breached his ethical obligations to the City in

18

attempting to assist me in my case. Through his attorney, Bob Sterbank has filed pleadings in

19

this case attempting to refute the City’s defamatory allegations. Attached as Exhibits XX and

20

YY is a true and correct copy of a letter to Defense counsel regarding these unfounded

21

allegations against Sterbank and a pleading filed by Bob Sterbank’s attorney and. Pete Mayer

22

resigned his position as the Assistant City Manager/Parks Director after he could no longer

23

handle the retaliation by the City Directors and employees. Attached as Exhibit TT is a true and

24

correct copy of Pete Mayer’s declaration. Additionally, emails drafted by Pete Mayer at the

25

time of his resignation further explained his frustration and retaliation by the City. Although

26

these emails have been designated as “Confidential” by the City, Mr. Mayer provided copies of

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 15

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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Filed 01/24/11

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1

these emails to me at the time he made his declaration. Further, these emails should a public

2

record. These emails are attached to Scott Blankenship’s declaration as Exhibit EEEE.

3

42.

Although I had received stellar evaluations and been respected for my work and

4

professionalism, as soon as Ms. Reed was retained to perform an investigation into the “C&S

5

Investigation” [Conrad and Segle Investigation], I was targeted for retaliation by Conrad and

6

others because my testimony to Ms. Reed was damaging to Mr. Conrad. Assistant City Attorney

7

Knight, HR Manager Segle, Burns, and Finance Director Corder turned against Sterbank, Mayer,

8

and me by spreading false rumors to advance Conrad's and their conspiracy theory. Burns, Knight

9

and Segle are close friends, who had vested interest in the outcome of Reed’s investigation.

10

Attached as Exhibit SS are examples of how close of friends Segle and Knight are.

11

Furthermore, Sterbank’s termination would also lead to Knight’s promotion to City Attorney.

12

City Manager Conrad attempted to convince City employees that I was engaging in a coup and was

13

“conspiring” to take his job. Attached to Scott Blankenship’s declaration as Exhibit BBBB is

14

Conrad’s review which reflects this.

15

43.

On December 5, 2007, two days after Ms. Reed made her presentation to the

16

City Council, I was told that Ms. Reed had been fired and that the City Council would be

17

conducting their own investigation with Conrad’s golfing buddies: then Mayor Bryan Cairns,

18

then Deputy City Manager Jim Pearman, and Defendant El Jahncke. All members of the

19

investigation “Cabinet” had no experience or training in conducting investigations into sexual

20

harassment or retaliation.

21

44.

Adopting Defendants Conrad’s and Corder’s conspiracy theory, the Cabinet

22

focused their investigation into whether Mr. Sterbank and I had planned a “coup.” Attached as

23

Exhibits ZZ and AAA is a true and correct copy of the document submitted by Corder outlining his

24

conspiracy theory. Additionally, in the attached email (Exhibit BBB) to the Cabinet on December

25

7, 2007, Corder claims that Segle had been “slimed” and “baited into taking the action that she

26

did.” Corder stated that he is concerned that Segle may be “damaged” in the eyes of the Cabinet

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 16

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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members. Corder additionally created a second memo after the independent Reed investigation

2

was halted. Attached as Exhibit CCC is a true and correct copy of Corder’s second memo which

3

Corder notes he provided to Conrad for his review. Corder’s performance review is attached to

4

Scott Blankenship’s declaration, as it has been designated as “Confidential” by the City.

5

45.

I was contacted while on vacation by three Councilmembers and asked questions

6

that made it clear to me the Council was re-focusing the inquiry into whether my actions had

7

been appropriate in writing a chronology given to Ms. Reed describing Conrad and Ms. Segle’s

8

misconduct.

The Cabinet was angry with me for recording evidence of Conrad and Segle's

9

violation of discrimination laws and told me so. Defendant Pearman's summary of this

10

conversation includes, “When El asked about the 50 page memo as to intent, Londi ducked the

11

issue and had no good explanation.” Pearman's notes of my interview also include a quote from

12

me that states I was “concerned about retaliation by Rich.” I later learned that other witnesses

13

interviewed by these three Councilmembers were asked whether or not I wanted Mr. Conrad’s

14

job or whether they believed I was part of a conspiracy with City Attorney Sterbank to get Mr.

15

Conrad’s job, which was nonsense and false. I was never asked about the allegations or for my

16

side of the story. Had they asked these questions, the Cabinet would have realized that Knight’s,

17

Burns’ and Corder’s allegations against me were entirely baseless and retaliatory, just as Reed had

18

warned. It was clear to me that the scope of the investigation had changed from Conrad and

19

Segle's misconduct to creating a pretextual reason to terminate me in retaliation. The first point

20

included in Defendant Pearman's notes from his interview with Assistant Attorney Knight is that

21

Knight “will swear in court” against me and that both “Kris [sic] and Ed have grounds against

22

Londi for defamation of character (largest legal threat against the city) textbook defamation claim.”

23

These notes verified my belief after my interview and the hostile questions posed by the Cabinet,

24

that the purpose of the Cabinet’s investigation was to seek ammunition to justify my wrongful and

25

retaliatory firing. Attached as Exhibit YY is a true and correct copy of typed notes created from the

26

Cabinet’s interviews.

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 17

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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46.

The accusations against me can all be rebutted. The Cabinet found that I fabricated

2

HR Director Segle’s flashing incident. However, numerous employees, including Knight and

3

Burns, reported the exact same incident to Reed. This is reflected in Reed’s notes of Knight’s and

4

Burns’ interviews. Additionally, the Cabinet found that I spread rumors about Officer Holmes

5

having an affair with HR Director Segle. In fact, deposition testimony uncovered in this case and

6

Investigator Reed’s own interview notes show that the only employees ever heard promoting the

7

idea that HR Director Segle was having an affair with Officer Holmes, was Segle herself, along

8

with Knight and Burns. I never made such an allegation. The only individuals who claim to have

9

heard me make these comments are Knight and Burns who lack creditability based upon their

10

friendship and what they could gain by making such comments. I heard Ms. Knight testify that I

11

made this false statement in front of the City Attorneys for Seattle, Bellevue and Kirkland. The

12

City has failed to produce any sworn testimony to support this false statement and I have personal

13

knowledge that neither the Seatttle nor Bellevue City Attorneys were even present at the social

14

function where I purportedly made this comment. In an email produced by the City in discovery, it

15

appears that Knight and Segle were directly involved in speaking with Officer Holmes regarding

16

this rumor. Attached as Exhibit DDD is a true and correct copy of an email referencing getting

17

Officer Holmes “riled up” during the Cabinet’s investigation.

18

47.

Additionally, based on statements by Knight and Burns, the Cabinet also found that

19

I had expressed my desire to overthrow Rich Conrad at a social event in September 2007. The

20

social event that Ms. Burns and Ms. Knight attended and allegedly heard me announce my desire

21

to orchestrate a “coup” occurred in September 2007, long before the Reed Investigation started.

22

However, I have reviewed Ms. Burns’ and Ms. Knight’s interviews with Ms. Reed, and neither

23

allege that I made such statements, even though they discussed the September 2007 party with Ms.

24

Reed.

25

48.

Additionally, the Cabinet concluded that the City Directors had lost confidence in

26

me and could no longer work with me at the City. Deposition testimony taken in this case, Ed

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 18

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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Holmes’ notes, and Pete Mayer’s declaration prove this rationale false. Attached as Exhibit EEE is

2

a true and correct copy of Holmes’ notes of a conversation Ed Holmes had with City Directors,

3

including myself. Further, my last performance review reflects what Conrad and my colleagues

4

were saying about me prior to me opposing discirmination and retaliation. This is what Conrad

5

wrote about me:

“The Council sees you as an integral member of their team; trusting your advice

6

and counsel,” “You are always the paradigm of professionalism and good nature

You treat your

7

peers, co-workers, subordinates and Council with respect and good humor,” “the City Council

8

uniformly trusts you and likes you. The Department Directors feel the same,” “You continue to be

9

one of the City’s greatest assets,” “You are the consummate team player. You have consistently

10

supported me and have shown profound loyalty to me, your fellow Directors and to the City,” and

11

“I continue to have absolute confidence in your decision making and problem solving skills.”

12

49.

Contrary to the City’s contention, there were not problems with my performance

13

and I did not “initiate a dispute” with the Washington Cities Insurance Authority. I requested

14

the right to review billing statements from attorneys performing services for me and was denied

15

the right to review billing statements for accuracy. When I objected to WCIA’s refusal, the

16

Executive Director threatened Conrad and told him he would disclose the Tina Eggers

17

settlement to his fellow City Managers on the WCIA Board unless Conrad removed me as the

18

WCIA delegate. Conrad acquiesced to these threats and removed me. I wanted to brief the City

19

Council on WCIA’s misconduct and Conrad refused. No performance issues were

20

communicated to me or reflected in my prior performance reviews until I complained. Conrad

21

was angry that WCIA’s Executive Director had threatened him with disclosing the Eggers issue

22

and took his anger out on me by proposing to retaliate against me with an unfavorable

23

performance review. When I told Conrad an unfavorable review was retaliation, he removed

24

the negative comments.

25

50.

In their “investigation” the Cabinet completely disregarded Investigator Reed’s

26

investigative interviews or materials. Investigator Reed worked for an entire month to as an

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 19

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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Filed 01/24/11

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independent investigator and ultimately charged the City with $38,000. Attached as Exhibit FFF is

2

a true and correct copy of an email between Corder and Conrad regarding Investigator Reed’s bill.

3

51.

Investigator Reed’s conclusions about my retaliation proved all too prescient,

4

and on or around December 17, 2007, just fourteen days after Reed presented findings to the

5

City Council, Mayor Cairns called a meeting of all the City Directors and informed me (along

6

with Bob Sterbank) that we should leave Mercer Island and seek other employment. Attached

7

as Exhibit GGG is a true and correct copy of an email from Lew Leigh, Executive Director of

8

the WCIA, which reveals that Bob Sterbank and I were directed to leave the City.

9

52.

As I believed that my upcoming termination was illegal and violated my civil

10

rights, I retained legal counsel. My attorney soon began to take action, including addressing

11

some of my concerns regarding retaliation in February 2008. Attached as Exhibit HHH is a true

12

and correct copy of my attorney’s letter addressing continuing retaliation.

13

53.

Although I was previously told that I would be given reasonable time to find

14

alternative employment, I was notified on April 9, 2008 that my termination would be effective

15

on April 14, 2008, the day I returned from vacation. Attached as Exhibit JJJ is a true and correct

16

copy of an email notifying the City Directors of my upcoming vacation and attached as Exhibit

17

III is a true and correct copy of the email attaching my termination letter. I was told that my

18

termination would be effective on April 14, 2008; however, City Manager Conrad notified all

19

City employees and Councilmembers by email on April 11, 2008 that I had been fired.

20

Attached as Exhibit KKK is a true and correct copy of Conrad’s email to City employees

21

notifying them of my termination. Attached as Exhibit MMM is a true and correct copy of notes

22

from City Manager Conrad regarding what he will say regarding my termination. Upon

23

receiving a series of emails from Defendant in discovery, it appears that the City Directors

24

including City Manager Conrad, current City Attorney Knight, HR Director Segle who had

25

been retaliating against me since my involvement in the Reed investigation, had been

26

exchanging malicious emails about me. These emails include vindictive comments such as

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 20

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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Filed 01/24/11

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“Katie’s got the rope out already,” “I sure she’s crying inside,” “I think Londi may look a lot

2

like Tina Turn in Thunderdome, particularly when she wakes up in the morning,” “That evilness

3

that got us to this place will be gone shortly – for good,” and referencing that I “would have a

4

loaded gun pointed to [my] head” by an officer while I gathered my belongings after

5

termination. Attached as Exhibit NNN are true and correct copies of the emails I referenced

6

above.

7

54.

I was fired without any due process or Loudermill hearing.

City policy

8

mandates a pre-disciplinary hearing prior to termination. Attached as Exhibit FFF is a true and

9

correct copy of the relevant excerpt from the City of Mercer Island Handbook. City Manager

10

Conrad’s draft press release confirms that the City fired me before giving her any opportunity to

11

for a hearing, writing: “Londi Lindell was relieved of her duties as Mercer Island Deputy City

12

Manager on April 9 (?), 2008 following an extensive process of deliberation.”

Attached as Exhibit

13

LLL is a true and correct copy of the draft press release.

14

55.

Since my termination in April 2008, Defendants have continued to retaliate

15

against me. I have been threatened with bar complaints. Attached as Exhibit OOO is a true and

16

correct copy of a letter dated May 8, 2008, less than a month after my termination, I received

17

through my attorney from Defense counsel stating that they City intends to file an ethics

18

complaint against me. The City has filed pleadings and declarations containing false and

19

embarrassing information which is not relevant to anything in this lawsuit. The City has filed

20

baseless counterclaims against me and has alleged that I was “deceitful and dishonest.” The

21

public allegations of ethics violations by the City have impacted my ability to gain employment

22

in this community. Attached as Exhibit PPP is a true and correct copy of Defendant’s answer to

23

interrogatory no. 19 which outlines Defendants’ basis for their counterclaims. These allegations

24

are false.

25

56.

Although I have contested many of Defendants’ “facts” above and in my Motion

26

in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, I believe many of

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 21

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

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Defendant’s facts are wholly inaccurate or mischaracterize my testimony and other sworn

2

witness testimony. Just some of the false claims made by Defendant are described below:

3

Defendants claim that I never engaged in any legally protected conduct. However,

4

Defendant Rich Conrad has already testified that I was fired for complaining of

5

retaliation, which is in and of itself protected activity. Conrad Dep. Transcript at

6

313:13 – 17. In addition, I engaged in protected activity when I told the truth

7

about misconduct and harassment at the City to Marcella Reed during her

8

investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Rich Conrad. Londi

9

Lindell Dep. Transcript at 110:8 – 111:24. I engaged in protected activity when I

10

complained to Rich Conrad of sexually offensive conduct engaged in by City

11

employees. Londi Lindell Dep. Transcript at 117:8 – 122:23. And I engaged in

12

protected activity when I refused to support the retaliatory firing of Bob Sterbank

13

after Mr. Sterbank wrote a memo complaining of, amongst other things, various

14

forms of harassment. Londi Lindell dep. Transcript at 110:8 – 111:22.

15

Defendants claim that the basis for Tina Eggers sexual harassment claim was

16

simply what Rich Conrad has described as a phone call that was a mistake. But

17

Ms. Eggers claim involved much more than Mr. Conrad’s admitted proposition

18

for sex. Ms. Eggers complaint was also that Mr. Conrad was retaliating against

19

her after she refused to have sex with him, including threatening to terminate her

20

job. Investigator Stephson notes that the event that led to the current [sexual

21

harassment] complaint was Conrad becoming angry over Eggers relationship

22

with a City vendor, accusing her of having an affair and threatened her job which

23

Eggers interpreted as retalition because she rejected Conrad’s advances. There

24

are several other examples of Conrad’s retaliatory conduct throughout the

25

Stephson Report. Londi Lindell dep. Transcript at 183:11-22; 184:20-23; Rich

26

Conrad Dep. Transcript at 147:15 – 148:11; Stephson Report Exhibit I.

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 22

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

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Defendants claim that I was responsible for Rich Conrad’s discipline over the

2

Tina Eggers claim and that I determined that Conrad had not engaged in

3

unlawful conduct. However, I had no authority to discipline Conrad and was not

4

responsible for the ultimate level of punishment that was meted out. The memo

5

itself does NOT conclude that Conrad never engaged in unlawful conduct;

6

specifically it is silent on concluding whether Conrad engaged in retaliation. The

7

Stephson Report is in fact replete with examples of retaliatory conduct on the

8

part of Conrad with regard to Ms. Eggers. Londi Lindell deposition, Transcript at

9

176:5 – 177:5; Merkle Disciplinary Memo, Exhibit J; Stephson Report, Exhibit I.

10

Defendants claim that I frequently expressed a desire to replace Mr. Conrad as

11

City Manager. This is false. I was not interested in becoming a City Manager

12

until my children were safely through high school. In fact, I frequently reassured

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Conrad I was NOT interested in his job and even offered to sign something to

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that effect. During my deposition I expressly responded to Defense counsel’s

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questioning that, “I never expressed interest in taking Mr. Conrad’s job away

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from him. I had a communication with Mr. Conrad that I would like the

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opportunity to be mentored in the field of city administration, and I would like to

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end my career, if the right opportunity arose, regardless of the city, as a city

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manager, but that I would not be interested in taking on that type of

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responsibility until after both girls went off to college, which at the time of that

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conversation was a six-to-seven year range.” Londi Lindell Dep. Transcript at

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262:13-21. In fact, as already stated, I had declined other opportunities to

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become a City Manager. Londi Lindell deposition, Transcript at 46: 21 – 47:1;

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160:1 – 161:5; Katie Knight deposition, Transcript at 68:21 – 23; 69:22 – 70:3;

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Jill Barringer deposition, Transcript at 71:6 – 7 (“her goals were to one day be a

26

city manager, but she wasn’t ready.”).

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 23

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

Document 286

Filed 01/24/11

Page 25 of 33

1

Contrary to Defendants’ assertion I did not solely solicit Robert Sterbank for the

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position of City Attorney and Conrad did not hire him based on my endorsement.

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The City went through an extensive competitive process and I solicited a number

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of City Attorneys in the area to apply for the position, including Mr. Sterbank.

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Conrad hired Mr. Sterbank based on the recommendation of all involved in the

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interview process. Mr. Sterbank was nearly a unanimous first choice candidate

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out of all the people interviewed. Londi Lindell dep. Transcript at 34: 7 – 36:17;

8

Declaration of Pete Mayer Dkt 54.

9

Defendants describe the incident leading to Johnny Segle’s discipline as simply

10

individual’s laughing at a video of dogs copulating and Segle making the

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comment “Does this mean no more boobies” during counseling on the

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inappropriate behavior. Defendants fail to acknowledge that the video showed

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multiple graphic images of various animals copulating in front of male and

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female workers and the male workers were shouting “look at the size of that

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thing” to describe the male’s “penis” and “look at them go at it”. Rich Conrad

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dep. Transcript at 202:10 – 203:15.

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Defendants state it is undisputed that no complaint was ever made based on Mr.

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Segle’s boobies comment. I was contacted by Mr. Segle’s immediate supervisors

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complaining about his conduct. There was clearly a complaint about Mr. Segle’s

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conduct. Londi Lindell dep. Transcript at 115:9 – 11.

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Defendants claim that I was upset with Conrad’s attempts to de-escalate the

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Segle situation and met with City Attorney Sterbank to discuss writing a memo

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Conrad would not want to hear. I met with City Attorney Sterbank to discuss

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various concerns both he and I had over Conrad’s behavior. However, I did not

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attempt to persuade Mr. Sterbank to write the October 3 memo, though I had

26

DECLARATION OF LONDI LINDELL (Cause No. C 08-1827 JLR) Page 24

THE BLANKENSHIP LAW FIRM, P.S.

28th Floor, Washington Mutual Tower 1201 Third Avenue Seattle, Washington 98101 (206) 343-2700

Case 2:08-cv-01827-JLR

Document 286

Filed 01/24/11

Page 26 of 33

1

similar concerns as those expressed in that memo. Lindell Dep. Transcript at

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233:10 – 234:17; 236:10 – 238:1.

3

Defendants claim that I initiated a dispute with the Washington Cities Insurance

4

Authority (WCIA). I did not initiate a dispute with the WCIA. I requested the

5

right to review billing statements from attorneys performing services and was

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denied the right to review billing statements for accuracy. When I objected to

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WCIA’s refusal, the Executive Director threatened Conrad and told him he

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would disclose the Tina Eggers settlement to his fellow City Managers on the

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WCIA Board unless Conrad removed me as the WCIA delegate. Conrad

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acquiesced to these threats and removed me. I wanted to brief the City Council

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on WCIA’s misconduct and Conrad refused. Lindell Dep. Transcript at 63:5 –

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64:14.

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Defendants claim that Conrad immediately recused himself from involvement

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with the disciplining of Mr. Segle after receiving Mr. Sterbank’s October 3

15

memo. This is inaccurate. Conrad continued to lobby Mr. Mayer and me for

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Segle even after he had received the Oct