Linda Robb, the former administrator for Benton-Franklin Department of Human Services, intends to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against both counties next week, her Seattle attorney said.
Jack Sheridan confirmed he intends to file a complaint early next week in Benton and Franklin counties.
Robb filed an administrative complaint against both counties on March 4. Washington law gives public agencies a 60-day period to resolve disputes before filing a lawsuit.
The Franklin County Commission is holding a special Monday morning closed-door session to discuss unrelated litigation. Administrator Keith Johnson said he could not comment on the Robb matter or any settlement negotiations. Benton County Commission Chairman Shon Small could not be reached Thursday.
In her March claim, Robb said she was the victim of an increasingly hostile workplace, sex discrimination and age discrimination.
She said the conflict arose from her opposition to plans to privatize the bicounty Crisis Response Unit. The counties recently hired Rick Weaver, president of Yakima-based Comprehensive. to facilitate discussions around the transition from county-run services to privately run ones under changing Washington regulations.
Robb was hired as human services administrator for the combined department of human services in July 2014, reporting to the boards of commissioners for both counties.
After numerous clashes with commissioners, most allegedly involving Small, she was placed on administrative leave in July 2015. She was an at-will employee.
The combined boards voted 5 to 1 to formally terminate her employment last August, with Brad Peck, then chairman of the Franklin County Commission, voting against.
Her claim and related documents are online at bit.ly/LindaRobbClaim.
Sheridan said Robb will seek damages for lost wages and emotional harm.