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City Reaches Settlement in $1 Million Lindell Sex Discrimination Case

Former City Deputy Manager claimed city had violated civil rights in her termination

The City of Mercer Island has reached an undisclosed settlement on claims it illegally terminated a former Deputy City Manager in 2008.

Former Mercer Island Deputy City Manager Londi K Lindell filed a claim for $1 million in damages against the city in a federal sex discrimination lawsuit  in December 2008 with the U.S. District Court of Western Washington. She alleged that several city officials — including City Manager Rich Conrad, Mayor Jim Pearman, Deputy Mayor El Jahncke, among others — conspired to dismiss her based on her sex and in retaliation for cooperating with an investigation into an earlier sexual harassment claim filed against Conrad.

City Council's June 6 meeting was delayed for nearly an hour after council members retreated to an executive session with lawyer, Suzanne Michael, to review their options.

A scheduled June 10 hearing in U.S. District Court Judge James L Robart's chambers was dropped and clerks confirmed a settlement had been reached in all but one of the claims. Lindell's attorney, Scott Blankenship, declined to comment on any details of the settlement. City officials, including the city attorney, could not be reached for comment.

Left unresolved is an additional $1.2 million claim against the city for withholding documents sought by Lindell and her attorneys in the case under the Public Records Act. Judge Robart has scheduled a June 15 hearing at the federal courthouse in Seattle on the public records claim. 

This is a breaking news story. Mercer Island Patch will add additional information to the story one it becomes available.

Jerry Gropp Architect AIA June 10, 2011 at 11:20 PM
I'm really glad to see progress in this lengthy lawsuit. I've seen a lot of MI City Managers- Rich Conrad is by far the best of many capable and concientious ones. J-
john June 11, 2011 at 12:54 AM
Really Jerry? He's "capable and concientious". I wonder if the many of his former female employees would agree with you. How about the one back in the early 2000's that settled with the city and went away? If this would have been run like a private company, your little buddy would have been out the door back then instead of costing the taxpayers millions as his continuing boorish behavior escalated (see the recordings posted of conrad admitting guilt in prior episodes). Why do you think its been a "lengthy lawsuit"? It's becsause the named defendants (conrad, pearman) were the ones making the fiscal decisions for the city wether to settle or not. Private sector companies would not continue to have a liability hanging around like Conrad. The facts are the facts. He has a history and he's been allowed to continue his inappropriate behavior at taxpayer expense. I cannot wait to hear the settlement details. Go Mercer Island!
Bob June 11, 2011 at 01:11 AM
Thanks Kendall Watson and PATCH for respecting the Community enough to report this. It's embarrassing the MI Distorter never did give much of a impartial look at this issue that keeps costing us money. So many Islanders are appalled at many acts that are illegal and work tirelessly to rebuke those that display such behavior, only to be cajoled and ridiculed in the media. Oh, then of course, NEVER an apology when proven wrong.
Suri June 11, 2011 at 02:54 PM
Throw the bums out. They've cost us millions we can ill afford. This isn't the 50's fellahs, and you're no Mad Men.
Kendall Watson June 11, 2011 at 07:35 PM
Suri: Do you find it interesting that no one has linked this story with this one: http://patch.com/A-jnCG ? I asked one of the candidates if there was any reason she filed on Friday and she never mentioned the case. In the past, however (see here: http://pubdocs.mercergov.org/meetings/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=29&doctype=AGENDA) she has made allusions to the fact that the council would benefit from a more diverse representation of the community at large (Read: More Women). And our Census story, http://patch.com/A-h6c3 , absolutely backs that up (Mercer Island has a majority female population).
T. June 11, 2011 at 08:48 PM
There isn't a "Like" button under Suri comment. So I am indicating "Like" here to her comment.
Sarah Waller June 11, 2011 at 09:44 PM
Somewhat off topic...I would encourage residents and voters to watch the Council meetings on Channel 21. It might be helpful when election time rolls around to make an informed decision on who receives your vote.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA June 12, 2011 at 12:25 AM
I've long been troubled by MI Patch's allowing "john" or "Bob' to comment on issues such as this one without a Profile that tells us where they're coming from, who they are. This seems a bit more fair to whomever's being attacked and/or discussed. J-
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA June 12, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Out of simple fairness, here's a much better picture of Rich Conrad. JG http://www.mercergov.org/Images/ImageManager/RichConrad1.JPG
john June 13, 2011 at 01:02 PM
Thank you Kendall for connecting the dots. This couldn not have come at a better time with the elections for the council positions coming up. There needs to be an overhaul in the city management and since they cannot seem to police themselves it will be up to the council to demand the changes necessary to run the city as it should be run. More women would defintely be a start. I wouldn't mind seeing some younger men in office that don't practice the same sort of antiquated, sexist thinking and behavior. It would be a huge improvement and probably not as costly as this last management has been over the last 10 years. It will be interesting to see what Mary Grady's perspective is now. Will she continue publishing her op/ed pieces in defense of the defendants or will she actually look at the facts of the settlement?

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