Lights & Sirens

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Mayor of Pacific misses clerk’s termination hearing, discharges half of police force

Post by Alexis Krell / The News Tribune on July 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
July 26, 2012 6:59 pm

The city clerk of Pacific has filed for wrongful termination with the city, after the mayor who discharged her left out of the back of city hall this morning at the time he scheduled for her to contest the dismissal, the clerk’s attorney said.

Sun declined to comment Thursday.

Clerk Jane Montgomery received a discharge letter earlier this week, which listed eight reasons for her dismissal. Among the reasons Sun listed was that Montgomery caused him to be arrested by locking her office and leaving the keys with police, he said in the letter.

Sun was arrested and later released July 19 for trying to enter Montgomery’s locked office.

Montgomery knocked on the locked door of the city hall room where the mayor had scheduled  a 10 a.m. Loudermill hearing today for her to challenge the firing, and received no answer, her attorney Joan Mell said. Such hearings are required prior to the firing of government employees.

Mell said she and her client then went to the mayor’s office, and were told he was not there.

They then saw the mayor drive off after leaving out the back door of the room the hearing was scheduled for, at which point Montgomery filed with the city for wrongful termination, Mell said.

“My client cleaned out her office and went on her way,” Mell said.

Mayor Cy Sun has also sent termination notices to four officers of the Pacific Police Department’s  nine-person force. Their Laudermill hearings are scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday.

The termination notice sent by Sun to the police officers says that they were fired July 19. Among the four reasons listed for their discharge are “unlawful anarchy and mutiny against the city of Pacific” and “gross insubordination.”

The police department said, in response to questions about the mayor’s self-appointment as the head of the police force, that Sun is not the chief of police. He is allowed to appoint someone to the position, but is not qualified to act in the position himself, the department said in a release.

Sun fired Pacific’s chief of police several weeks ago, and has also fired several other department heads.

Pacific residents asked Sun to resign at a council meeting last month.

The city has about 6,500 residents, according to 2010 census data. It is east of Interstate 5 between Seattle and Tacoma, lying in both King and Pierce counties.

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