The Port of Astoria is closing the book on cases brought by two fired employees in February, including Peninsula resident Tammie Herman.
Herman, the agency’s former facilities manager fired in November 2014, accepted an offer of judgment in December from the Port and Michael Weston, the former director of business development and operations.
Herman’s acceptance of judgment brings to an end the legal quagmire the port has been in nearly a year with members of its former finance department staff. Herman and Colleen Browne, the port’s former finance manager, were fired in November 2014 by Executive Director Jim Knight shortly after he took over. Both filed lawsuits in February claiming Weston, who was interim executive director between when Hank Bynaker resigned in September 2013 and when Knight was hired in October 2014, abused his authority in trying to become the permanent director. The lawsuits also alleged Herman and Browne were retaliated against by the port after reporting Weston’s indiscretions.
The judgment accepts all claims to be filed against the port and Weston, named as a defendant in lawsuits brought by both Herman and Browne. Herman and her lawyer get $255,000 in the offer of judgment, plus attorneys fees. Her lawyer, Anne Foster, applied for more time to calculate those fees.
Browne recently settled with the port and Weston. She and her lawyer, also Foster, received a total of $478,900 from the port’s insurer, the Special Districts Association of Oregon. As part of Browne’s settlement, she and Foster agreed not to comment to the press on the matter.