Nearly half the members of the City of Pacific’s police force have hearings today to challenge their firings by Mayor Cy Sun, a day after the city clerk had a similar hearing scheduled and filed for wrongful termination.
Sun sent termination notices to four of the city’s nine police officers this week; it informed them of their so-called Loudermill hearings that begin at 9 a.m. today. Such hearings are required before government employees are officially let go.
Among the four reasons listed in one officer’s discharge letter are “unlawful anarchy and mutiny against the city of Pacific” and “gross insubordination.”
Sun declined to comment Thursday.
City Clerk Jane Montgomery knocked on the locked door of a City Hall room where the mayor had scheduled her 10 a.m. hearing and received no answer, said her attorney, Joan Mell.
Mell said she and her client then went to the mayor’s office and were told he was not there.
They then saw the mayor drive off after leaving out the back door of the room where the hearing was scheduled, after which Montgomery made the wrongful-termination filing, Mell said.
“My client cleaned out her office and went on her way,” Mell said.
Montgomery received a discharge letter this week that gave eight reasons for her dismissal. Among those listed was that Montgomery caused Sun to be arrested by locking her office and leaving the keys with police while she was on sick leave.
Sun was arrested and later released July 19 for allegedly trying to enter Montgomery’s locked office. He has not been charged.
The Police Department said in a news release Thursday that Sun is allowed to appoint a police chief, but he is not qualified to do it himself.
Sun fired Pacific’s police chief several weeks ago and has fired several other department heads. Pacific residents asked Sun to resign at a council meeting last month.
Pacific has about 6,500 residents, according to 2010 census data. It is east of Interstate 5 between Seattle and Tacoma, lying in both King and Pierce counties.
Sun was elected last year, winning in a write-in campaign by 64 votes.