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Saturday, 13 August 2016 06:57

Former Clerk Anna Wayman-Trujillo Files Suit Against Yavapai County Board of Supervisors Featured

Anna Wayman-Trujillo filed a lawsuit in Federal Court on Wednesday against the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors.

In her complaint, Wayman-Trujillo alleges that she was forced to resign under the concept of a “constructive discharge.”

According to FindLaw.com, "Constructive dismissal, also known as constructive discharge or constructive termination, is a modified claim of wrongful termination. Wrongful constructive dismissal occurs when, instead of firing the employee, the employer wrongfully makes working conditions so intolerable that the employee is forced to resign. As in wrongful termination, the employer must violate the employment contract or public policy by targeting the employee… Most states recognize the legal concept of constructive dismissal, in which an employee quits because the working conditions have become so intolerable that he or she can no longer work for the employer. Even though the employee voluntarily quit, the employee had no reasonable alternative because of the intolerable working conditions.

"The employee's resignation is overlooked for legal purposes because the employment relationship was in effect terminated involuntarily by the employer's conduct. In this situation, the resignation is treated as a firing.”

After retiring from the elected position of County Recorder, Wayman-Trujillo began working for the County as Deputy Clerk of the Board and Special Districts Coordinator. A few months later, she was appointed to be the Clerk of the Board, in addition to retaining her duties as Special Districts Coordinator.

There are approximately 48 county-wide ‘special districts’, including the Coyote Springs Road Improvement District II, and the Poquito Valley Road Improvement District both created to fund road projects in their respective subdivisions. According to Wayman-Trujillo’s lawsuit, the company, Improvement District Services, Inc. (IDS), provided administrative services for special taxing districts in Yavapai County. IDS as a company was created in 1998 by former County employees, Jennifer Bartos and Karen Wells. Wells married Supervisor Chip Davis in 2008, and is referred as Karen Davis throughout Wayman-Trujillo’s complaint filed in court.

Trujillo met with Bartos, Karen Davis and former County Finance Director John Zander in January of 2012. At that meeting, she alleges, she was told, “…they estimated that the administrative funds used to pay for IDS to perform services for Coyote Springs and Poquito Valley would run out before the Coyote Springs and Poquito Valley bonds were paid off.”

After more than two years of consultation with the Assistant County Administrator, Deputy County Attorney and County Finance Directors, Wayman-Trujillo determined that the best course of action to recommend to the Board of Supervisors was to bring some of the IDS administrative functions to be brought “in house” and have County personnel take those tasks over.

Trujillo’s complaint reads, “During the April 2015 timeframe, Plaintiff [Trujillo] discussed with [County Administrator Phil] Bourdon and Fields several concerns Plaintiff had regarding Coyote Springs and Poquito Valley, incuding the financial problems, IDS’s sloppy accounting practices, and the end of year accounting irregularities.”

The Board of Supervisors held an Executive Session, in which Wayman-Trujillo presented her concerns. Supervisor Davis recused himself from the Executive Session, because of his conflict of interest since his wife had partial ownership in IDS.

Trujillo claims that on June 30, 2015, Bourdon came to her office, shut the door and told her that he had spoken with Supervisor Davis about the renewal of the IDS contracts:

 

 

After this, however, Wayman-Trujillo’s complaint reads, “Shortly thereafter, Supervisor Davis began a campaign to intimidate and harass Plaintiff, to undermin and diminish her in the eyes of the other Board members, and ultimately, to cause her to leave the County.”

Read the entire complaint here: Anna Wayman-Trujillo lawsuit

Supervisor Chip Davis Responds

Supervisor Chip Davis responded to news of the lawsuit Friday afternoon:

“In regards to the Anna Wayman lawsuit… The lawsuit contains the same general allegations that Miss Anna Wayman-Trujillo made in her October, 2015 constructive discharge notice. The Board of Supervisors responded to Miss Wayman-Trujillo’s October, 2015 constructive discharge notice by immediately ordering an independent investigation of her allegations. The investigation found that none of Miss Wayman-Trujillo’s allegations had merit. Miss Wayman-Trujillo resigned as Clerk of the Board in December of 2015, I’ll note that she resigned two months after she said her conditions were not good, and it was a resignation. Mrs. Wayman-Trujillo’s lawsuit will be forwarded to the County’s insurer and legal counsel once we actually receive it. On a personal note, I would say that if the claimant was truly in the quest of justice, they would have filed this and went to legal proceedings but rather what has happened is they have filed it and immediately, personally went to all of the media outlets so that this could be heard in the court of public opinion, versus in the court of law, in order to disrupt the campaigns of several people. I believe we’re striking new lows in political campaigns lately."

Compensation Sought

Wayman-Trujillo is asking for “economic damages in an amount sufficient to make Plaintiff whole for past and future lost income and benefits and other economic losses incurred by Plaintiff…”, plus compensatory damages for mental anguish, emotional distress, humiliation, harm to reputation; punitive damages and attorney fees and costs.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 13 August 2016 07:39
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.

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Editor Lynne LaMaster

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Prescott, Arizona