Davenport CSC to decide if Washburn remains in department

The fate of former Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn is still in the air

DAVENPORT, Iowa - The fate of former Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn is still in the air.

The Davenport Civil Service Commission ruled this morning that it can determine whether or not Washburn will remain in the department, but said they have no jurisdiction over her discharge. The decision whether or not she will stay will be made at a later date. 

The city removed Washburn from her position in July, but did not comment on the reasoning for the decision. 

Typically, if the chief of a department is removed he or she can stay in the department at a position comparable to the one they held prior. That's according to the civil service rights the person held prior to their promotion outlined under Iowa Code. 

Washburn's case is different because she was hired from the Rockford Fire Department in 2011. 

Assistant City Attorney Brian Heyer said for Washburn to retain any civil service rights she would have had to be promoted from within the Davenport Fire Department, citing a precedent set in the 1978 case La Peters v. Cedar Rapids. 

Washburn's attorney Michael Carroll said since the code itself does not specify a person must come from within the department to retain her rights. He said because of that Washburn should be named to a position comparable to the one she held in Rockford as deputy chief. 

 


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