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News / Clark County News

Vancouver settles with former assistant city attorney

By Amy Fischer, Columbian City Government Reporter
Published: April 4, 2016, 8:26pm

The city of Vancouver is paying a former assistant city attorney $100,000 to settle her claim that she was harassed, discriminated against and subjected to a hostile work environment while working for the city.

On Monday, the city council approved the payout to Suzanne Lampkin, who worked as an assistant city attorney in the Domestic Violence Prosecution Center from 2012 to 2015, when she was “separated from her employment,” according to city documents.

Lampkin claimed she lost her job due to discrimination based on her age, gender and disability. The city denies her allegations and contends the separation was justified based on her performance.

The parties held a mediation session Feb. 23 with a goal of resolving the case without need for extensive litigation and expenses. They reached an agreement for a $100,000 settlement, and the city gave permission for Lampkin to say she resigned.

According to city documents, $100,000 “is a fraction of what it would cost the city to defend a lengthy lawsuit” because the city would be required to hire outside attorneys to defend the case. It also avoids the uncertainty of a potentially unfavorable outcome of a trial, the documents say.

The settlement will be paid out of the city’s Risk Fund.

Under the agreement’s terms, Lampkin agrees to never reapply to work at the city, and the city agrees to remove all negative documentation from her personnel file. Both parties agree to refrain from making disparaging or false remarks about each other and, in response to inquiries, simply state that the matter has been resolved.

Columbian City Government Reporter