Londi Lindell, the former Mercer Island deputy city manager who sued that city after she was fired, is going back to work as North Bend’s city administrator.
Hired by North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing and confirmed by a unanimous City Council vote last week, Lindell starts work May 1. She received a $1 million settlement last year stemming from her federal lawsuit against Mercer Island over her 2008 firing, which she said was in retaliation for her voicing concerns about the city’s alleged failure to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.
Mercer Island also was ordered by a federal judge to pay $90,560 for its failure to provide public records Lindell sought in the retaliation case. City officials denied her claims that she was wrongly fired and that she was denied public records. They said they reluctantly settled the case at the urging of their insurer. Lindell struggled to find work in the wake of her widely publicized dismissal and lawsuit.
North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing said Lindell was one of 45 applicants and was among six finalists chosen for interviews by a panel of city officials. “We had a great roster to choose from. I was very pleased,” Hearing said.
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Lindell will succeed Duncan Wilson, who is resigning effective May 15 to become town administrator in Friday Harbor. “She is replacing a man who has brought us from the dark ages into the 21st century. Literally she looks to me to be the person who can take us to the next step,” Hearing said.
Lindell could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. She will initially earn $111,144 a year, with a raise to $120,216 if she receives a satisfactory performance review after six months.
“She interviewed very, very well. She came out on top. I offered her the job and she jumped at the chance,” Hearing said.
North Bend has slightly fewer than 6,000 residents, compared with Mercer Island’s 22,700.