Seven former City of Pacific employees on Wednesday filed claims totaling $8.5 million against the city over what they allege was a pattern of harassment by Mayor Cy Sun.
In addition, a former mayor filed a $500,000 claim alleging that Cy Sun used city resources to publish false statements about him and his tenure.
The new claims come on top of a $2.2 million suit filed against the city in July on behalf of Jane Montgomery, the city clerk who was fired by Sun after a July 19 incident in which she blocked his attempt to access personnel files on other city employees.
The new claims, totaling $9 million, were referenced in an Oct. 9 letter from city attorney Kenyon Luce in which he recommended that the city begin the process of disincorporation. The $11.2 million in potential claims, he noted, exceeds the city's insurance coverage.
That coverage expires on Dec. 31 and the ongoing political and legal fight makes it unlikely that the city could afford a new policy.
Four of the claims -- each seeking $1 million in damages -- are sought by former City of Pacific police officers who were fired by Cy Sun after the July 19 incident at the Clerk's office. The officers arrested the mayor and detained him briefly; no criminal charges were ever filed against Cy Sun.
The other claims were filed by:
-- Linda Morris, former community services director, $1.5 million
-- Roger Smith, former building inspector, $1.5 million
-- John Calkins, former public safety director, $1.5 million
-- Richard Hildreth, former mayor, $500,000.
Elected in a write-in campaign last year, Cy Sun has angered many Pacific residents and city employees for what they characterize as erratic and arbritray behavior. On Tuesday, a King County judge approved a recall petition filed by city residents. Sun has 15 days to appeal the judge's decision, after which supporters could begin gathering signature to put the recall on the ballot.
Sun is under a court order to fill empty city positions. Last week, the King County Sheriff's Office said it would not recommend criminal charges after it concluded its investigation into Sun's attempt to remove the personnal files.
Reporting by KING 5's Elisa Hahn.