Damascus mayor's wife names city manager in tort claim
The wife of Damascus Mayor Steve Spinnett is suing the city and its city manager for an incident this fall in which she was accused of taking images of confidential code enforcement documents on a city staffers desk.
In Cindy Spinnetts tort claim, which her attorney Bruce McCain sent to the citys attorney on Thursday, Feb. 7, she alleges that City Manager Greg Baker defamed her, violated her civil rights and intentionally caused her emotional distress as part of a media smear campaign against her husband.
Mrs. Spinnett intends to prove at trial that Bakers actions were intentional and motivated by a desire to harm her husband by humiliating her with unwarranted allegations and suggestions to the media that Mrs. Spinnetts visit to City Hall of September 4 was a potential or actual criminal act, wrote her attorney in the claim.
It also claims that Bakers actions were motivated by a desire to see that Mayor Spinnett lost his bid for re-election.
There is no secret that Greg Baker has been at odds with Mayor Spinnett, reads the tort claim, which goes on to say that Baker seized upon the allegations against Cindy Spinnett to humiliate her in the public eye, while attempting to adversely affect the political standing and re-election of her husband.
Baker could not be immediately reached for comment.
The tort claim also details the incident in which Spinnett visited City Hall to request public records.
When she left, two staffers told Baker that shed been leaning over a counter and appeared to be taking pictures or video of documents that contained sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers.
Baker met with the mayor and asked that he or his wife surrender her cell phone, presumably for Baker to examine. The mayor refused and Baker reportedly told him that if he didnt cooperate, he would take it to another level.
The next day, Baker reported the situation to the Clackamas County Sheriffs Office. Its investigation found no evidence of photos or video being taken on the phone the day Spinnett visited City Hall.
Before the investigation was complete and publicly released on Sept. 27, Baker talked to a reporter for The Sunrise Times who the tort claim describes as a vocal critic of the Spinnetts.
The headline for the reporters front-page article read Possible Identity Theft at City Hall.
In the article, Baker is quoted as saying he had to report the case to police because sensitive information must be protected in todays era of identity theft.
Baker all but accused Mrs. Spinnett of the crime of identity theft, even though the CCSO investigation never mentioned identity theft or any crime, the claim reads. By the time CCSO released its report on September 27, 2012, exonerating Mrs. Spinnett from the allegations made by Baker and other city staff, the damage had been done.
She asks for damages to be determined at trial.
Northwest Oregon Conference