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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Female ferry captain settles bias lawsuit

Associated Press

MOUNT VERNON, Wash. – The former female captain of the Guemes Island Ferry has settled a sex discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against Skagit County for $74,000.

Patricia Hoyland-Smith, 53, started working on the ferry dock in Anacortes in 1979 and worked her way up to the ranks, becoming full-time captain in 1994.

Skagit County fired her last year, claiming she acted above her authority one day when she changed the ferry’s schedule without approval.

Records obtained by the Skagit Valley Herald showed she had complained that some of the men in the county’s Public Works department, which runs the ferry, were resistant to her advancement because she’s a woman.

In 1992, she filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which ruled in her favor.

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