Former Granite Falls Police Chief Tony Domish settles with the city.
After months of negotiating, the City of Granite Falls has reached a settlement agreement with Police Chief Tony Domish.
Domish was placed on administrative leave on April 23 while the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office completed an investigation of Domish.
As part of the settlement agreement, the investigation will be dropped and Domish will receive medical, dental and other health and welfare benefits through May of 2011.
Domish will also receive a $12,127.22 payment on Oct. 31, 2010 and an additional $6,063.61 for the succeeding eight months. He will also receive almost $11,000 in sick leave accrued along with vacation and floating holiday compensation.
Mayor Haroon Saleem strongly opposes the paying of the accumulated sick leave stating that it could open the door for future payouts to other city employees.
“I very strongly opposed to him getting his sick leave of 288 hours cashed out. Nothing in his contract says anything about cashing out sick leave,” Saleem said. “In the new contract coming out it specifically says that sick leave cannot be cashed out. We are setting a precedent by cashing his sick leave out. If somebody gets fired, people can argue different ways.”
Saleem also worries about the expense this settlement has on the city and if there is a better way to spend the taxpayer’s dollars than by paying sick leave.
“We have an assistant over here who has done a phenomenal job, she is part-time and we would have liked to give her more hours. There was a $500 difference that we could not find money to allocate for that but we are paying almost $11,000 for sick pay. To me that is not protecting the city, to me it is not guarding the taxpayer’s money,” he said.
The settlement also has a clause which will stop the internal investigation on Domish and keep Domish from suing the city.
The city council voted 3-1 for the settlement with Councilmember Tom FitzGerald voting against the settlement agreement. One council position is currently open due to the earlier resignation of Robyn Ross in August.
Once the settlement agreement is signed which is slated to take place on Sept. 30, Domish has agreed to resign as Police Chief.
“I realize that there is a deep political divide in the City of Granite Falls and I resign because I believe it is in the best interest of the citizens of the City of Granite Falls to move forward with a united local government and without division,” Domish states in the settlement agreement. “I loved working as Chief of Police and I regret that the efforts made during the transition of the political leadership in the City have not succeeded in restoring harmony here.”
Domish became Granite Falls Police Chief on June 1, 2006 and administered eight full-time police officers, seven reserve officers and a staff of five.
Domish could not be reached for comment.