Snohomish County jail officers settle harassment suit

Two former corrections deputies have settled a lawsuit claiming they were subjected to a pattern of sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation at the Snohomish County Jail.

Jackie Hall and Dan Bly each received $50,000 and resigned their jobs this summer as part of the agreement reached with county attorneys and a former supervisor. They also released the county and the former supervisor of any other claims for damages.

The settlement ended a 2008 lawsuit they filed in King County Superior Court.

The couple said the lawsuit was the only option to protect themselves after a workplace complaint they filed with Snohomish County’s Equal Employment Opportunity investigator went unresolved for more than two years.

The attorney who handled their EEO complaint, Mark Knudsen, announced his resignation from the county in February, after more than 10 years on the job.

Days later, the county released an independent review of Knudsen’s work. It found he failed to keep records for scores of cases and that employees often waited months — sometimes even years — for resolution to their complaints.

Around the time the report was released, Hall and Bly said its findings corresponded to their frustrating experience.

Hall compared the EEO office to a “black hole.”

After the report, County Executive Aaron Reardon’s former deputy executive, Mark Soine, apologized to county employees for not checking more thoroughly on Knudsen’s work. Soine announced his resignation in April.

Shortcomings in workplace investigations could be costing Snohomish County taxpayers more money.

The county faces a nearly $1 million pending lawsuit filed by a former human resources manager in the planning department.

In the suit, Debbie McPherson claims she was prevented from doing her job and laid off in retaliation for confronting sexual harassment, age discrimination and other inappropriate behavior.

As part of Bly and Hall’s settlement, they agreed never again to seek employment with Snohomish County. They’ve since moved to Florida.

Reached this week, Bly declined to discuss the settlement.

The couple’s attorney, Michael J. Kelly from Auburn-based Van Siclen, Stocks &Firkins, did not return calls for comment.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465;

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

Lynnwood man arrested, released on $25K bond after road rage shooting

Deputies arrested the suspect, 20, for investigation of first-degree assault on Tuesday.

Mt. Baker visible from the summit of Mt. Dickerman on a late summer day in 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Hornets pester hikers on popular Mountain Loop trails

“You cannot out run the stings,” one hiker wrote in a trip report. The Forest Service has posted alerts at two trailheads.

Emergency responders surround an ultralight airplane that crashed Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at the Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington, resulting in the pilot's death. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Pilot dead in ultralight plane crash at Arlington Municipal Airport

There were no other injuries or fatalities reported, a city spokesperson said.

Patrick Russell, left, Jill Russell and their son Jackson Russell of Lake Stevens enjoy Dick’s burgers on their way home from Seattle on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. The family said the announcement of the Dick’s location in Everett “is amazing” and they will be stopping by whenever it opens in 2025. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dick’s Drive-In announces new south Everett location

The local burger legend announced Friday it plans to open the south Everett location on Center Road in 2025.

Most Read