City of Yakima Rejects Four Million Dollar Claim of Former Yakima Police Officer
Yakima, WA - Yakima City Manager Dick Zais says he's rejected a four million dollar damage claim that was filed by former Yakima Police Officer Jeff Brownfield.
Zais says the city has a reserve fund and insurance to pay for a lawsuit like this and he's prepared to defend its decision to fire Brownfield in court.
The former Yakima police officer lost his job this past April.
He was ruled unfit for duty by the city. Zais cited disciplinary misconduct as well as repeated violation of personnel policies and rules related to obeying orders and insubordination.
Brownfield says he was fired because he exposed possible fraud at the Police Athletic League.
He then filed a four million dollar claim last month, which the city now rejected.
"We are going to vigorously defend this case," says Zais, "And for the reasons that I have stated, we think it will stand the test of that scrutiny, but you have to still prove that and defend that and defend the city from the results of what could've been otherwise, if an officer remained on duty who was violating the rules and regulations and policies. And deemed unfit for duty by a qualified physician."
But Brownfield says that physician was a hired gun and disputes her findings.
All this will now be decided in court. Zais expects the lawsuit to drag on for up to two years.