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Thursday, October 29, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rights agency fires director

State commission enforces anti-discrimination law

The Washington Human Rights Commission voted unanimously Thursday to fire its executive director following a negative performance evaluation.

Marc Brenman has run the agency charged with enforcing the state’s anti-discrimination law – reputed to be among the nation’s toughest – for nearly five years.

“They decided late (Thursday) that my services were no longer required and took a vote and terminated my employment,” Brenman said.

The chairwoman of the commission, Yvonne Lopez-Morton, of Spokane, would not comment on Brenman’s termination, saying only that it was based on his evaluation and “in the best interest of the agency.”

“It is a confidential matter between commissioners and the executive director,” Lopez-Morton said.

She said there are no immediate plans to replace Brenman as executive director, a position that pays $108,000 a year. A transition plan will be put in place, Lopez-Morton said.

State Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was unaware of Brenman’s termination until contacted by a reporter Friday.

Kline said he was planning this session to propose legislation, recommended by Brenman, to help the Human Rights Commission staff weed out frivolous cases.

Kline said Washington state has become known for having one of the strongest civil rights laws in the country, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation or disability.

Contact Kevin Graman at (509) 459-5433 or kevingr@spokesman.com.
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