A civil lawsuit filed by former Curry County IT Director Todd Weeks against the county was settled this week, seven months after he was fired from his job for “a lack of communication and insubordination in his dealings with the county’s Geographical Information System.”
Terms of the settlement were not made public, and Weeks’ attorney, Robert Coleman, had no comment. Weeks could not be reached for comment.
Weeks originally filed a suit for about $9.3 million against the county, Commissioner Tom Huxley, then-Commissioner Susan Brown and computer contractor Keith Massey of Columbia Cartographics of Eugene, citing harassment, civil rights violations and other claims.
Any monetary settlement would be paid for by the county’s insurance agency, Citycounty Insurance Services, which provides risk management services for public entities in the Pacific Northwest.
Five percent of Weeks’ job was to keep the GIS system under his purview, and Huxley and Brown voted to fire him for not communicating with Huxley about an ongoing update in the system. Then-Commissioner David Brock Smith voted against Weeks’ termination.
The GIS updating was supposed to be taken care of by an outside company, who failed to complete the work by the end of the terms in the contract. A communications snafu between commissioners, Weeks and the company prevented the firm from gaining access to the GIS system to update it, further exacerbating the problem.
Weeks said in his defense that his only involvement with the GIS system was to keep it in the computer room with all the other equipment. Formerly, it was in the assessor’s office. He also repeatedly noted that he is an IT professional and not a GIS specialist.
In the ensuing days after his departure, computer chaos reigned, with computers crashing and no one available to address the problems. Brown maintained everything was fine.
The IT work has since been contracted to Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative and the GIS work to Lane County.
Numerous department heads, particularly Sheriff John Ward, fought for Weeks, saying his work was impeccable and they couldn’t do without him. Ward was in the middle of transitioning to a new 911 system, as well.
Weeks said Huxley began bullying him shortly after he was sworn into office.
Weeks’ first attorney, William Cloran, said the board’s management style under Huxley’s and Brown’s command, has resulted in employee “strife, a decrease in morale, a toxic environment, low productivity, legal entanglements and difficulty attracting new people.”
Reach Jane Stebbins at firstname.lastname@example.org.