Davenport refusing to re-instate terminated fire chief; taking fight to court

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DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Davenport officials have filed a Notice of Appeal with the Iowa District Court against its own Civil Service Commission's ruling that former Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn is entitled to go back to work as a District Chief.

The ruling was made in Washburn's favor in November, five months after she was dismissed by Davenport City Administrator Corri Spiegel.  The commission, on a 3-to-1 vote,  ruled that since Washburn is a civil service employee, she is entitled to a different position in the fire department.

Despite the ruling, the city has made no effort to find employment for the ex-chief in the department.

In the appeal document, assistant city attorney Brian Heyer argues that Washburn's return to the department in any role "would greatly raise the potential for irreparable harm to the department." Heyer did not wish to comment further, saying the city's position is made clear in the document.

Washburn's lawyer, Michael Carroll talked with News 8 on Friday after the Appeal was filed.

"The Chief is extremely disappointed in the city's decision to appeal the decision made by its Civil Service Commission," Carroll said. "She wants to return to work. She wants to return to keep doing good things for the city of Davenport."

Carroll says he expects the hearing to happen in a few months.