Langley councilman questions secrecy on lawsuit

With a new lawsuit against the city now underway in Island County Superior Court and making headlines in the local newspaper, Langley City Councilman Hal Seligson is wondering why the council wasn’t given a head’s up that the city was getting sued.

At Monday’s council meeting, Seligson asked Mayor Paul Samuelson to explain why he had to learn about the lawsuit — brought by Frank Sullivan, 67, a public works employee who claims he was fired because of his age — by reading the South Whidbey Record.

“I was just wondering if there was any reason that would stop the council from being advised by the administration, or whomever, of the existence of an actual lawsuit, which I learned about in the newspaper,” Seligson said.

The mayor declined to detail the administration’s responsibilities in alerting the council.

“I’ll get back to you on that,” Samuelson said.

Sullivan was the public works field supervisor for Langley, and was fired by the city on Oct. 29. His age discrimination lawsuit was filed in Island County Superior Court on May 16, and followed a $4.5 million damage claim that was filed against the city in March.

The city has not yet filed its first formal response in court to the lawsuit.

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