Woodway city manager and former director of public safety Yost Zakhary was placed on paid administrative leave Friday.
City Council members made this decision after a police dispatcher filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the City of Woodway on Monday.
This comes after Zakhary resigned as the director of public safety one week ago.
The city stripped Zakhary’s authority while he is on paid administrative leave.
During Zakhary’s administrative leave he can not come to any city office, facility, or department, not to initiate any contact or communication with any city employee other than Assistant Director Bret Crook or acting City Manager William Klump. In addition, he can not become involved in or transmit any radio traffic on the city’s radio system/frequency and not respond to any police/fire call for assistance or police/fire incident.
Sandra Bickel, the dispatcher who filed the sexual harassment lawsuit sat in the special meeting and waited for the results, surrounded by both her supporters and her lawyers.
Zakhary was nowhere to be found.
Council members say because Zakhary is on a “for cause contract”, he must be given notice of charges against him, notice of evidence to be used against him and an opportunity for a hearing.
Bickel’s lawyers were not satisfied, and said Zakhary should have been fired on the spot Friday.
“We are disappointed,” says defense attorney Ryan Johnson. “Not only in the city’s actions, but it’s inactions. Not only what it did, but what it hasn’t done. Where is he? Where is Yost Zakhary? Where is he? Why is he not here either defending himself or apologizing? We haven’t seen his face, and I think that tells the whole story.”
Johnson says Zakhary attempted to contact Bickel after resigning as the public safety director, but he would not elaborate any further.
Below is the original text from this story:
The Woodway City Council voted Friday afternoon to place City Manager Yost Zakhary on administrative leave while members investigate the allegations against him.
City Council called the meeting after a dispatcher filed a sexual harassment suit against him.
As part of his administrative leave, Zakhary must not enter any city office, facility, or department. He is barred from communicating with any city employee other than Assistant Director Bret Crook or Acting City Manager William Klump, can’t transmit any radio traffic on Woodway’s radio system, and can not respond to any police or fire calls.
Earlier this month, Zakhary resigned as the director of the Woodway Department of Public Safety.
Sandra Bickel is the dispatcher who filed the sexual harassment lawsuit. She accuses Zakhary of making inappropriate comments on numerous occasions.
Bickel was surrounded by supporters on Monday night when this lawsuit was first released, and stood in the lobby for nearly two hours waiting on City Council members to make a decision on Zakhary’s future as city manager. However, no action was made.
Instead, the media was handed a note that read:
“After receiving and reviewing additional information, the feeling of the Council is that more serious action must be taken. Howevery, because there is no action item for tonight’s meeting; a meeting for Friday will be scheduled by a posting tomorrow morning (Tuesday) to address the matter of Mr. Zakhary’s employment. The City of Woodway and its City Council support the City’s employees and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct.”
Council members would not elaborate on what this meant.
For more information, you can view our previous story here.