SPOKANE, Wash.—The woman who previously held the Parks and Recreation job now filled by former Spokane Police Department spokeswoman, Monique Cotton, is threatening to go after the City of Spokane for $1,000,000.
Nancy Goodspeed's lawyer filed a notice on Monday against the City of Spokane claiming the city "kicked Ms. Goodspeed when she was down because it was thought she was weak and unable to protect herself."
"She never wanted to be in this position, rather she would've come back to work been given the job that she had been doing exactly what she was doing before, she never asked to be dragged into this mud pit that's swirling around for sure and definitely the city may have viewed her as somebody they could just roll over well we're here to make sure she's not going to get rolled over," said Goodspeed's lawyer Kevin Roberts.
Lawyers for Goodspeed are giving the City of Spokane until December 21 to respond the complaint.
"If the City forces Ms. Goodspeed to trial, its exposure will easily exceed $1,000,000," wrote her lawyer who claims his client is willing to negotiate.
The notice was delivered Monday to Mayor David Condon, City Council President Ben Stuckart and Leroy Eadie with the Parks and Recreation Department.
Goodspeed worked as the Community Affairs Coordinator for the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department from 2007 until December 2015.
Her lawyer wrote that Goodspeed was granted medical leave in February 2015 while she underwent brain surgery for Parkinson's disease. Goodspeed's lawyer claimed that when she was ready to return to work her job and duties had been given to Monique Cotton.
Goodspeed's lawyer claims this was in violation of numerous federal and state laws.
As previously reported, Cotton was moved in to the Parks and Recreation Department in April of 2015 from the Spokane Police Department. The move came after Cotton accused the SPD Chief of trying to kiss her. A formal complaint was never filed and the Chief eventually resigned amid other complaints from co-workers.
"Ms. Goodspeed discovered that she was effectively demoted to being an assistant to her former position," wrote her lawyer on Monday. The letter goes onto claim that Goodspeed faced retaliation when she stood up for her right to work.
Goodspeed was cleared to work by doctor according to her lawyer who claimed the City also violated Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act when they shared her medical information with other employees. The claim accuses City of Spokane leaders with also violating the following laws; the Family Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disability Act, Age Discrimination Employment Act, Washington's Law Against Discrimination Act, Washington State Family Leave Act, and HIPPA.
"She was going in for her second surgery on May 5th, May 4th is when the city moved somebody else into her job and effectively takes it away from her," said Roberts.
The lawyer wrote that Goodspeed then resigned to avoid further retaliation but the move cost her pay and retirement benefits.
In early December, the Spokane Parks and Recreation Department confirmed they planned to seek applicants for the position held by Monique Cotton. The Parks Department put in a request with human resources to have the Marketing/Communications Manager position advertised.
The position will be advertised sometime in December, so anyone can apply.
The Parks Department Director Leroy Eadie said Cotton can 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.
Eadie said the salary offered to the new candidate will be within the range of the position and will depend on their experience. Cotton is currently paid by SPD despite working within the Parks Department and makes $90,000 annually.