Friday, December 9, 2011

2nd councilman added to lawsuit

City administrator adds Bob Youngman to list of defendants


By REBECCA MEANY
Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley City Administrator Sharon Hammer has added City Councilman Bob Youngman as a defendant in a lawsuit she filed last month against the city.

In an amended complaint filed in 5th District Court on Dec. 5 by Jim Donoval, Hammer's attorney and her husband, Hammer claims Youngman used illegally obtained information to support an effort to investigate her and seek her termination or forced resignation.

Last month, Hammer filed a suit against the city of Sun Valley, City Councilman Nils Ribi and City Attorney Adam King, claiming violations of the Idaho Protection of Public Employees Act. Hammer alleges collusion between Ribi and King in trying to have her removed from her job, which Hammer claims was Ribi's retribution for her allegations that he repeatedly harassed her.

"... Mr. Ribi and Mr. Youngman held several personal conferences, made telephone calls, sent emails, or otherwise communicated with each other discussing the confidential Sun Valley and Sun Valley employee information that Mr. Ribi had illegally obtained ... and jointly determined that they would seek a special Sun Valley City Council meeting to purposefully seek Ms. Hammer's termination or resignation," the amended complaint states.

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Youngman did not return a call by press deadline Thursday seeking comment on the suit.

Hammer was placed on administrative leave Nov. 18 pending completion of an internal investigation of her for possible misuse of city funds. Mayor Wayne Willich said at the time that the leave was "totally non-disciplinary."

Ribi swore in an affidavit dated Nov. 23 that the mayor and council "had reason to believe that the Plaintiff may have committed serious misconduct. ... "

Donoval said Ribi's allegations are unfounded.

"We are confident that Ms. Hammer will eventually be found to have done nothing in violation of either her contract with Sun Valley, any Sun Valley policies and procedures, and certainly nothing that could possibly be construed to be any type of 'criminal' or 'illegal' act. ... " Donoval wrote in a statement given to the Idaho Mountain Express.

Rebecca Meany: rmeany@mtexpress.com




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