- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Complaints are piling up against Spokane Mayor David Condon over his handling of allegations of sexual harassment against former police Chief Frank Straub.

The fourth and latest complaint was filed Tuesday by the Spokane chapter of the National Organization for Women.

It contends Condon failed to provide a safe work environment for the women of the Spokane Police Department by mishandling sexual harassment allegations by the former police spokeswoman against the police chief.

Condon said an on-going investigation will bring about any changes needed to city policy.

“We need to let that process play out and learn from the lens of independent inquiry to make sure employees are treated fairly and appropriately,” Condon said.

Straub has denied the accusations of sexual harassment.

Former police spokeswoman Monique Cotton complained to the mayor earlier this year that Straub had grabbed her and tried to kiss her. Condon transferred Cotton to the parks department and left Straub in charge for five months.

When police leadership came to Condon with reports of explosive, inappropriate behavior from Straub, Condon forced Straub to resign. City Hall has since been thrown into turmoil as Straub filed a $4 million claim against the city for a violation of due process.

An investigation has been launched into the matter.

The Spokane Ethics Commission has decided to consolidate all complaints made against Condon. Former City Council President Joe Shogan, businessman Jamie Pendleton and Mara Spitzer, a Spokane resident, previously filed ethics complaints against the mayor.

The complaint by NOW referred to a September news conference where Condon was asked about allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment against Straub. Condon denied there were such allegations, but later said he was responding to questions about “official complaints.” Cotton did not file an official harassment complaint.

The complaint from NOW also contended that the mayor was dishonest about Cotton filling “an existing need” in the parks department when she was transferred.

Meanwhile, Nancy Goodspeed, the parks department spokeswoman who was on medical leave for brain surgery when Cotton was transferred, is demanding up to $1 million from the city. She is accusing officials of age discrimination and of using her medical condition as an excuse to give her job away.


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