A Lake Stevens women and former LS Chamber employee is suing the City Of Lake Stevens for damages in the amount of $175,000. Her claim is that she was let go from her job at the Chamber due her comments as a private citizen, comments that she was assured were to be kept private and confidential.
On the 19th of June Ms. Amy Hoffman attended a private forum put on by Sno-Isle Library. Hoffman tells me that she was assured numerous times that her comments at this forum would not be shared with outside parties. The forum was produced by Consumer Opinion Services of Seattle. It was known a panel of library employees in another room watching the forum
A few days following strange things started happening to Hoffman, based on comments she made in private. The following seems to present a clear conflict of interest on the part of a member of the City Council, who also serves on the Chamber of Commerce board.
On June 23rd the Chamber employee was allegedly told by Kim Daughtry, City Councilman and Chamber of Commerce board member, that the City of Lake Stevens was ‘not happy with me’ due to her responses at the Library Forum. She tells LSNS that she again informed him that her responses were to be kept confidential. His response was “well you had to know there were city administrators on the panel also”. It seems this conflict of interest goes even farther. A short time later The City asked for Hoffman to be removed from a contact with the City regarding the ‘Farmers Market project’ she feels this is as a result of her comments..
The 2014 Farmers Market was later tabled until next year.
A few days later Hoffman was asked to meet with the Chamber President and Vice President. At this meeting the two expressed to Hoffman that they had received complaints from the City of Lake Stevens concerning her private comments.
The statements she made at the forum had been directly related to the question; “How would Lake Stevens tax payers respond if the a new Library was added to City office spaces? “ Her response; “Although I agree with the model of a Library District Building as was shown to us five years ago, I think tax payers would have a difficult time wanting to pay for City offices due to the popularity of the City. The City has not been able to maintain what it already has, I hear complaints about this all the time. I think the popularity of the City would need to improve for this to be successful.”
July 23rd Hoffman was removed from her position at the Chamber of Commerce and was not given a reason. The Chamber claims that they do not have to give a reason because Hoffman’s employment was at-will.
She has received apologies from Ken Harvey of Sno-Isle Library and Greg Carter of Consumer Opinion Services. Both are appalled at the City and are shocked the City has not issued an apology to Ms. Hoffman. They both encouraged her to file suit. By law the City has 60 days to reply.