Woman who alleges SPD harassment resigns from Parks Dept. job

Monique Cotton's last day will be Feb. 12, but she will not be at work between now and then.

SPOKANE, Wash.—The woman caught in the middle of the Spokane Police Department personnel investigation resigned from her job on Monday. City spokesperson Brian Coddington confirmed on Monday that Monique Cotton had submitted a letter of resignation. 
 
Cotton will be out of the office until her last day on February 12. Coddington said she was using personal leave.
 
Cotton has most recently been working in the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department. Cotton previously worked as the Director of Communications and Public Information with the Spokane Police Department. 
 
She took the Parks Dept. position in the spring of 2015 after alleging that her previous boss, Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub tried to kiss her.  KREM 2 on Your Side obtained a series of text, emails, and formally written notes from the City of Spokane regarding complaints against Straub.
 
Cotton did not file a formal complaint and was relocated to the Parks Division within the City of Spokane on April 27.
 
Straub later resigned in September under amid complaints by other co-workers. 
 
In December 2015 however, Cotton was informed that she would need to re-apply for the Parks Dept. position.
 
Cotton was being paid by SPD at the end of 2015 despite working within the Parks Department and makes $90,000 annually. 
 
 
At the time, Parks Department Director Leroy Eadie said Cotton could apply for her own job, but it will be offered to the most qualified candidate. Eadie said his full expectation is that Cotton would stay in her current position until it is offered to the best candidate.  The salary offered to the new candidate will be within the range of the position and will depend on their experience according to Eadie.
 
Cotton did reapply for her position within the Parks Dept. 
 
On Monday, Eadie said Cotton was chosen as part of the narrowed down group to do interviews for her job before they had received her resignation. Leaders of the Parks Department said they had narrowed applicants down to nine people and then to four or five.
 
Eadie previously said about 20 people had applied for the communication job held by Cotton. 
 
Cotton's attorney told KREM 2 News that she never wanted to leave her job with SPD, but felt that was the only option. Cotton's attorney said that if Cotton ends up unemployed, the city could be looking at a lawsuit. 
 
On Monday, her attorney explained that Cotton was "devastated" by resigning from the Parks Dept. He claimed she was treated with disrespect which led to her resignation. He claimed Cotton's Parks Dept. co-workers acted like "grade school children." 
 
In the meantime, former SPD Chief Frank Straub has threatened to sue the City of Spokane for $4 million. The woman who previously held Cotton’s Parks Dept. job has also threatened legal action. Nancy Goodspeed filed a $1.5 million claim against the City of Spokane in January. 
 
 
Goodspeed worked as the Community Affairs Coordinator for the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Dept. from 2007 until December 2015. While Goodspeed was out on medical leave for surgery for Parkinson’s disease she claims the city gave her job to former police spokesperson Monique Cotton.
 
City of Spokane leaders released the following statement on MOnday in regards to Cotton's resignation:
 
"That information is being reviewed as part of the ongoing inquiry into the recent personnel matters that was requested jointly by the Mayor and City Council. The City has agreed as part of that process to reserve comments as we participate and cooperate fully with the inquiry."
 
 
 
 


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