June 8, 2012
To: City Council Members.
Re: Pacific Municipal Code 2.88- Equal Employment Opportunity
On June 4th, 2012 I informed Mayor Cy Sun That Howard Erickson
confronted Becky Cromwell a member of Local Union 117, in the hallway of
City Hall. He was accompanied by Leanna Mason who was the person that
Mayor Sun had brought before the City Council on April
29, 2012 for confirmation to the position of Community Services
Director. The City Council did not confirm her appointment. Mr.
Erickson singled Becky out and used a common demeaning term used only
with women to refer to me. He stated, “I’m going to get that Bitch
fired, she was supposed to be out on medical leave and she was really in
Connecticut selling her house.” Ms. Cromwell stated to me that he was
angry, and hostile and she found his remarks to be shocking and
This is not the first time the Mr. Erickson
has been in my workplace making inappropriate comments about me. The
last time he was in an employee only area demanding to see my job
description and questioning my authority to do my job as the Personnel
Manager. This was reported to me by the former Finance Director, Maria
Pierce. Mr. Erickson was angry because I had followed the City Policy
and Procedure that in regard to the hiring of a Community Services
Director and the candidate that he told the Mayor to hire, Fran
Neumiller had not been selected for the interview process.
Maria Pierce came and told me and I went to speak to Mr. Erickson to
find out what the problem was. We had a long discussion. I explained
that I had followed the Policy of the City and that Ms. Neumiller was
not qualified for the position and that therefore she had not been
granted an interview. Mr. Erickson appeared to be satisfied.
In this case, I decided to bring a person with me to speak to Mr.
Erickson. I asked Sheryl Finwall to accompany me because I knew that
she was well liked by Mr. Erickson and I felt I needed a witness and a
person who could potentially arbitrate for me. We found Mr. Erickson in
Joanne Futch’s office. I asked him if we could talk about what was
said to Becky Cromwell and he verbally exploded and moved toward me and
with a red face and a loud voice stated, “You are a fucking bitch, a
traitor”. He continued making statements that I was disloyal to the
Mayor and that I was “working with John Calkins and Councilmember
Jones”. I attempted to talk to him but it was impossible. He
approached me a second time and got very close to my face. He looked at
me with bulged eyes and took a threatening stance towards me stating
“You are a bitch”. I told him that a true man would not act like this,
(use male aggression, stance, stature, derogatory gender based
language), but would sit down and talk with me to resolve this issue.
He refused and walked off. All of this was done in the presence of
Joanne Futch, Sheryl Finwall, and Dale a young man with a disability who
was looking on. There were also about 8 young men playing basketball,
but I do not know if they overheard his statements to me.
After Mr. Erickson left, I was in shock. Joanne and Sheryl both
apologized to me and stated that they too were shocked and they both
stated that his behavior was out of line and uncalled for. I was very
upset by his behavior.
I left and went to my office and
immediately called the City Attorney, Ken Luce and reported the conduct.
The City Attorney advised me to report this to the Mayor. I also
called Sgt. Jim Pickett (acting Police Chief to report the incident).
Sgt. Picket accompanied me to speak to the Mayor.
Pickett told the Mayor that he had enough cause to arrest Mr. Erickson.
I then told the Mayor what had happened. The Mayor stated to Sgt.
Pickett that I had come to him before about Mr. Erickson’s behavior and
that he had not done anything about it. He stated that he had been
wrong to not help me then. He asked me if I would give him the chance
to go speak to Mr. Erickson to help me and I agreed that I would but
that I wanted to continue to make my report to the Police Department.
The Mayor said that he would report back. The Mayor left immediately.
I did not see the Mayor again until the Council meeting that night and
he made no attempt to speak to me about his conversation with Mr.
Erickson. Mr. Erickson came to the Council Workshop and the Mayor acted
in a cordial friendly manner to him and Mr. Erickson did not apologize
to me. The Mayor had ample opportunity to speak to me after the meeting
and he did not do so.
The next morning on the 5th, The Mayor
was in City hall but made no attempt to speak to me. At this point I
decided that again, the Mayor had ignored my request for help. I went
to the King County District Court and obtained a temporary
anti-harassment order against Mr. Erickson. While I was waiting for my
final paperwork at the Court which was in the late afternoon, I received
a call from Betty Garrison the Treasurer. Betty reported to me that
the Mayor had asked her to type of a letter hiring Mr. Erickson for the
position of Building Official/Code Enforcement Officer for $30 an hour.
She told the Mayor that she did not want to do that and asked him to
see me because that was my responsibility as the Personnel Manager. I
was quite shocked by this because I felt it was very inappropriate to
reward a citizen for harassing me by attempting to hire him for a
position which was currently held by another Union employee, Roger
Smith. It also showed me that the Mayor had no respect for me as a
woman and a city official. I also believed that this action totally
proved my belief that he had been disingenuous when he told me the
previous day that he would go talk to Mr. Erickson on my behalf to help
The Mayor has the legal responsibility under Pacific
Municipal Code Chapter 2.88, Equal Employment Opportunity to oversee
this law which is required by local, state and federal laws. (See
attached Exhibit A). It has also been reported to me that the Mayor has
made been making statements to others that, “I was the aggressor”, in
the incident with Mr. Erickson.
As the City Clerk, Personnel
Manager for the City I am putting the City on notice that I have been
discriminated against as a female employee, based on both my gender and
my age. I believe that I have not been granted the equal treatment
under the law that I entitled to and that the Mayor is required to
enforce. I believe the Mayor has violated all of the following;
Federal Equal Employment Opportunity statutes.
Pacific Municipal Code- 2.88. 2.88.010, 2.88.020, 2.88.030, 2.88.040 and 2.88.050.
2.88.010-The city will not tolerate racial, ethnic, religious or sexual
slurs or comments, or any form of sexual harassment, by or about any
officer, employee, applicant or the public. By Ordinance 1153.
The Mayor shall oversee the City’s equal employment opportunity and nondiscrimination policy.
I am asking the City of Pacific to take the appropriate steps to
discipline and cite the Mayor for his disregard of these laws. I am
also asking that his actions and lack of actions be reported to the
appropriate regulatory agency or commission which deals with the federal
and state laws in regard to these statutes. I have called
Councilmember Steiger and have asked him to contact the Council
President, Leanne Guier for me as I would like the City Council to add
this to the agenda for our meeting on Monday the 11th. I will be
emailing my correspondence to the City Attorney and to Canfield and
Associates as well.
Jane A. Montgomery
City Clerk, Personnel Manager