Lake Stevens settles police sergeant’s harassment lawsuit for $325K

LAKE STEVENS — The city of Lake Stevens is paying a former police sergeant $325,000 to settle her lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and retaliation.

The final payment is due in January, public records show.

In the settlement, Julie Jamison, 46, agreed to resign and waived her right to future legal claims against the city and former police chief Randy Celori.

Both the city and Jamison have denied any wrongdoing.

Jamison wanted “to move on with her career goals and the defendants merely wish to buy their peace,” according to the settlement agreement.

Jamison worked as a police officer for 23 years

It was a privilege to serve, and she always tried to bring empathy to the work, she said in an interview. She is deciding what’s next for her.

“My focus has always been to bring justice to those who have been harmed regardless of who is involved or their standing in the community,” she said.

Jamison said she’d never been the subject of an internal investigation or been disciplined. She has donated some of the settlement money to nonprofits in Snohomish County that serve children, including the Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center, which provides resources for child victims of abuse, she said.

Jamison also agreed to withdraw a public-records request filed by her attorney, who was paid $100,000 of the settlement.

The lawsuit was filed in November 2013 in Snohomish County Superior Court. Jamison alleged that Celori, who left the police department in 2012, had mishandled her sexual harassment claims involving a subordinate officer.

Jamison was told to work from home during the initial phases of an internal investigation instead of the man she accused. She also was given extra work, a negative performance review and reassigned to a less desirable job. When a new police chief was promoted, and Jamison told him she’d been retaliated against, she was moved to the night shift.

Jamison worked for the city for about eight years. She previously had worked in San Juan County and in Mountlake Terrace, where she was the lead detective in the 2000 murder of mail-order bride Anastasia King.

In Lake Stevens, she became the detective sergeant and led the investigations unit until that position was cut from the 2013 budget.

In July of this year, Mayor Vern Little signed a reference letter for Jamison.

“Sergeant Jamison has communicated that her passion for law enforcement lies in conducting police investigations, and she chose to resign to pursue other opportunities,” the mayor wrote. “We wish the best for Sergeant Jamison in her future endeavors.”

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com.

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