Seattle attorney to defend Langley against lawsuit

A well-known Seattle lawyer with extensive trial experience will defend the city of Langley in an age discrimination lawsuit filed by a former public works employee.

Robert L. Christie, an attorney with the Christie Law Group, will represent the city in the Island County Superior Court case, according to court documents.

Frank Sullivan, formerly the public works field supervisor for Langley, filed a lawsuit against the city in May. Sullivan, 67, was fired by the city in late October in a move that Langley officials said was necessary due to the city's ongoing budget problems.

Sullivan said he was fired because of his age, however, and filed a $4.5 million damage claim against the city. He also alleged the city failed to follow its personnel policy manual when it terminated his employment.

Christie will defend the city as part of Langley's membership in the risk management pool operated by the Association of Washington Cities. Christie has earned recognition as a "Super Lawyer" by Washington Law & Politics since 2000, and according to his firm's website, has tried dozens of cases in Washington courts and the U.S. District Courts in Washington and Alaska, and has also argued appeals in all divisions of the Washington Court of Appeals, the Washington State Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

City officials have repeatedly declined to talk about the lawsuit, and Langley's legal counsel has not yet submitted a written response to the allegations made in the lawsuit.

Sullivan and his attorney, David A. Williams of Bellevue, have also declined to talk about the lawsuit.

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