MASSIVE LAWSUIT TARGETS EUREKA, CITY MANAGER
An explosive lawsuit filed in Humboldt County Superior Court against the city of Eureka and its manager David Tyson is bound to blow the roof off city hall.
The lawsuit was filed by former Eureka Police employee Tawnie Hansen, who previously won a $10,000 settlement against ex-EPD dispatcher Dee Dee Wilson over the now defunct “Above the Law” blog which defamed Hansen and Police Chief Garr Nielsen.
The new lawsuit alleges the city — and Tyson in particular — failed to prevent the harassment at issue in the Wilson case, and aided and abetted the harassment.
Tyson, as head honcho of the city, allegedly buried any investigation of Hansen’s claims with a “global investigation into any and all complaints” by EPD personnel despite a lack of any other grievance at the time.
“[R]ather than address Hansen’s specific grievance in the focused and expeditious manner required by law, the investigation of her grievance was instead delayed unreasonably and stretched out to a full year’s effort” while the harassment continued unabated, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges Tyson wanted the harassment to continue because he had a personal friendship with Wilson, and because Hansen had rejected his sexual advances that included “touching her in a suggestive manner” and intimating his desire to engage in “a specific sexual act” with her.
Tyson’s actions “effectively aided and abetted the harassment to which Hansen was being subjected,” according to the complaint.
Hansen was employed by the city for nearly 20 years, with 14 years at EPD. The city rejected her claim for damages at it’s September 1, 2009 meeting. The lawsuit was filed November 10th.
Hansen is seeking special damages of not less than $1.4 million, as well as punitive damages and costs of the suit.