City Council may call for Mayor Gough's resignation

Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough

This Monday night, the Lynnwood City Council is scheduled to vote on a resolution that calls for Lynnwood Mayor Don Gough’s resignation. The resolution was posted on the city’s website in the Council’s agenda for next week.

For the past four months, Gough has been at the center of a secretive personnel investigation by a law firm hired by the city. In April they started looking into complaints about his dealings with city employees.

The investigation focused on several key areas. Among them, that the city’s hiring practices had been compromised because Gough allegedly contacted applicants during the hiring process and told them that a decision had already been made. Investigators said this undermined the objectivity of the process and  negatively impacted employee morale as to whether they were eligible for promotion.

The report also said that some employees are worried that participating in the investigation might harm their working relationship with the Mayor and could lead to retaliation. Several employees have expressed deep concerns about their ability to continue working directly under the Mayor’s supervision once the investigative findings are released.

Additionally, investigators found that the Mayor interfered with the investigation and  conducted his own parallel investigation, trying to contact witnesses while the independent investigation was under way. Normally if a city employee did that it could lead to termination, but the City Council has no authority to terminate the Mayor because he is an elected official.

The report also discussed “discourteous treatment of city employees and other conduct which is not conducive to a productive work environment.”

The City Council says the Mayor’s conduct allowed his personal interests to take precedent over the city’s best interests. They believe it violates his oath of office to faithfully carry out the duties with which he was charged.

Council members believe it is in the city’s best interest if Mayor Gough resigned.

Concerns about the Mayor’s “lack of professionalism” has prompted the Council to consider adopting a Code of Conduct, applicable to all employees, elected officials, volunteers and contractors.

If the Mayor refuses to resign, the Council strongly recommends that he attend anger management and sensitivity training.

If the resolution is approved, all hiring, promotional, employee discipline, layoff, job re-assignment or change in job duties must first be presented to the Council as part of a review process before any final decision is made.

The Council says it hopes these actions will restore employee and public faith in the fairness and openness of Lynnwood’s government, will foster a better work environment and will allow the City to return to essential business matters.

An e-mail requesting comment from Mayor Gough was not returned.

  1. Some of the City Council members should join the Mayor at the anger management classes. A few of them (no names, but you know who you are) have been downright rude to the Mayor during Council meetings the past few months.

    Becky: hear, hear! I completely agree.

  2. we need to vote in all new council members and mayor or city manager,people that will work for the city of lynnwood and members who don't whine

  3. A City Manager form of Government is the only functioning form of government that works with simple minds that Lynnwood has to offer.

  4. Gough's dishonorable behavior cost we the taxpayers about $100.000 in settlement costs and 3 months pay and benefits to his former executive assistant. I've sent a number of emails to Gough, copying council members, demanding that he resign. Not surprisingly, he didn't respond. I've spoken on this matter at council meetings. I'm happy that Gough is getting the publicity he so richly deserves.

  5. Keep the politics out of City Hall!? Are you listening to yourself? That doesn't even make sense.

  6. The COL is a “good 'ol boy” form of government. The Excecutive branch and the Management need to get their acts together and work together for the benefit of the City. The city employees need to be recognized for their hard work that they do. They are the ones who have to take the brunt of lay-offs because the Council has spent money like water for the last 5 years and therefore there are enormous short falls in the budget. How bad this all looks for the COL !

  7. My comment herein pertains to the “Gough faces council revolt” news story by Oscar Halpert in the 8/6/2010 edition The Daily Herald. While it is true “the council doesn’t have the authority to force Gough’s resignation,” it does have the authority to significantly reduce or eliminate the budget line items for salary and benefits for the mayoral position. This could be the ultimate impetus for Gough to quit. Furthermore, it would be a way of recovering taxpayer dollars thus far expended because of Gough’s dysfunctional behaviors. I estimate that Gough thus far has cost us about $140,000. As for sending Gough to anger management training, I don’t believe he could be forced to go and in reality this would be additional waste of taxpayer dollars. I suspect Gough is a narcissist and a few anger management sessions won’t fix him.

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