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Pacific Mayor ordered to begin hiring process
A Pierce County Superior Court judge on Tuesday upheld an order demanding that beleaguered Pacific Mayor Cy Sun begin the hiring process for vacant City staff positions.
The Pacific City Council and City Attorney Kenyon Luce asked the court last week to issue a Writ of Mandate, ordering Sun to begin the hiring processes and lift a hiring freeze in place on the City’s police department or face fines and possible jail time.
Although Judge Ronald Culpepper declined to add several of the original writ’s mandates – among them, ordering the mayor to cooperate with an ongoing King County Sheriff’s office investigation into Sun’s alleged destruction of City documents and stopping his alleged harassment of City staff – to the new order drafted on Tuesday, he ordered the mayor to begin doing his job by advertising for eight, vacant City staff positions.
“Mayor Sun, it’s not for me to tell you how to do your job,” Culpepper said. “But you have to do it.”
Sun has 30 days to prove that he is complying with the order and must reappear before Culpepper at that time.
Pacific City Council President Leanne Guier said she was satisfied with the court’s decision and that she hopes it will be enough to stave off the possible cancellation of the City’s insurance on Dec. 31.
“I feel like it’s moving in a positive direction,” Guier said. “That’s all council wanted is the mayor to perform his duties and hire these key positions so the City can keep moving forward. That’s all the council is asking for.”
At the hearing, Sun’s attorney, Tyler Firkins, argued that there was no need for the writ because the mayor had already started the process of hiring.
“He’d previously undertaken much of this,” Firkins said. “The mayor has actually appointed people that have been rejected by the council. We’ve filed a counter petition to ask that the council be required to do their role, which is to approve and confirm those he appoints, which they haven’t done to this date. So we’ll see what happens. This is the first step.”
Sun posted the open positions for community services director, city clerk, city engineer, finance director and public works director on Monday.
“I hope he understands that the judge has indicated to him that (Sun) has certain duties, and hopefully he’ll do it and we can get moving so that we can straighten the City out, protect the citizens and comply with the insurance...” Luce said. “I’m very satisfied. We got exactly what we wanted. We had the mayor’s attention drawn to something he’s neglected for many months, and now he must produce.”
ALSO: Sun appeared before another judge on Wednesday, this time in King County Superior Court, where the Committee to Recall Cy Sun has filed its petition to begin a recall of the mayor. The court was expected to approve the validity of the recall effort and finalize the ballot language for the petition. A final decision was unavailable at press time.