Woodway City Council makes city manager’s resignation immediate

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Woodway’s City Council waived Yost Zakhary’s 60-day resignation on Monday, instead of letting him go immediately. 

This happened two weeks after Police Dispatcher Sandra Bickel filed a sexual harassment lawsuit. Bickel’s attorneys were not satisfied with the turnout – saying it’s a step forward, but still not enough. They were also disappointed Zakhary did not show up to the meeting yet again. 

“We are still waiting for Yost Zakhary to step up and take responsibility. We haven’t seen him, we haven’t heard from him,” said attorney Ryan Johnson. 

Bickel’s lawyers say the city’s move on Monday should have been a “termination for cause”, and that Zakhary shouldn’t get the six-figure buyout he’s owed as a result. 

Attorneys say at least five more people have stepped up in the last week saying Zakhary sexually harassed them. 

Monday at 5:45 p.m: The Woodway City Council has waived Yost Zakhary’s resignation, making it effective today.

This comes two weeks after a police dispatcher filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

Monday at 5:30 p.m.: The Woodway City Council is considering City Manager Yost Zakhary’s resignation.

This comes two weeks after the Council placed him on paid administrative leave due to Police Dispatcher Sandra Bickel filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against him.

Bickel accuses Zakhary of making inappropriate comments and touching her on numerous occasions. 

Zakhary’s resignation letter stated if council members wished to terminate his job immediately, he would be okay with this. 

Many of Bickel’s supporters attended Monday night’s City Council meeting and packed the room as they wait to hear about Zakhary’s resignation. 

Zakhary’s contract with the city requires a 60-day notice, meaning if the Council doesn’t terminate his position effective immediately, Zakhary will hold the city manager title until June 5. 

Zakhary also resigned from the director of public safety last March. And going by his contract, he will officially lose that title this Wednesday. 

Bickel’s lawyers say this is a step in the right direction, but they are looking for much more than him just leaving. 

“But until he accepts full responsibility for his actions, no one is going to be satisfied,” says attorney Ryan Johnson.

Zakhary served the City of Woodway for over three decades. 

Below is the previous text from this story:

The City of Woodway issued the following statement just before noon Monday:

“Yousry Zakhary has tendered his resignation as City Manager and Director of the Public Safety Department of the City of Woodway. Although his contract with the City requires a notice period, the City Council has the option to accept the resignation effective immediately. The City Council will act on the tendered resignation at its meeting on April 9, 2018. A copy of the resignation is attached.”

Here is Zakhary’s resignation letter:

     It is with a great deal of mixed emotions that I announce my resignation from the City of Woodway.

     As provided under the terms and conditions of my employment with the City of Woodway, I am providing 60 days’ written notice in advance of the effective date of my resignation so that my resignation will be effective on June 5, 2018.  However, in the event the City Council wishes to formally accept my resignation at an earlier date, then I am agreeable to such earlier effective date.

     Thank you for the opportunity to serve the City of Woodway for almost 40 years.

Previous story: 

The Woodway City Council had earlier placed Zakhary on paid administrative leave . 

City Council members made this decision after a police dispatcher filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him and the City of Woodway on Monday.

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 earlier special meeting and waited for the results, surrounded by both her supporters and her lawyers. 

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.

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