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Nancy Goodspeed settles discrimination lawsuit prompted by City Hall shuffling during Frank Straub scandal

UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 17, 2017

Nancy Goodspeed (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Nancy Goodspeed (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The city of Spokane will pay $165,000 to a former Spokane Parks Department spokeswoman whose job was wrapped up in the shuffling caused by allegations of sexual harassment by former Police Chief Frank Straub.

Nancy Goodspeed sued the city for $1 million in August 2016, alleging she had been illegally replaced as media contact for the department following the reassignment of Monique Cotton from the Police Department. Cotton was moved to the position after meetings with Mayor David Condon and his administration alleging harassment by Straub in early 2015, while Goodspeed was recovering from treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

The city announced the settlement in the case, which was scheduled to go to trial in U.S. District Court in April, in a brief news release Friday morning.

“The City thanks Nancy for her 9 years of service to the City and community,” the release said. “The City wishes her the best. Neither party will have any further comment on the matter.”

Cotton resigned from the Parks Department in February 2016. Straub’s lawsuit against the city, alleging wrongful termination because he wasn’t allowed to rebut the harassment claims, was dismissed in June 2016. That ruling is under appeal.

Heather Lowe, who headed the city’s human resources department at the time of Cotton’s transfer and was named as a defendant in Goodspeed’s lawsuit, left the city in August 2016.

The settlement announced Friday needs City Council approval.

City Council President Ben Stuckart said he expects the council to consider the settlement in the next couple of weeks. He declined to comment further on the deal.

City Councilwoman Karen Stratton said she first informed Goodspeed, a former KHQ-TV broadcaster, of the communications job in the parks department when she returned to Spokane in 2007.

“I’m glad that it’s over for Nancy,” Stratton said. “She’s an incredible person, and a wonderful professional.”

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