A Black officer with the Port of Seattle police is suing the Port for failing to provide records of an investigation into allegations of racial discrimination he made against superiors, including police Chief Rod Covey.
Yandle Moss “alleged to his employer that his superiors, including the Chief of Police, were subjecting him to retaliation for engaging in protected activity including collective bargaining grievances, whistleblowing, and reporting race discrimination and that he was being treated adversely because of his race,” according to the complaint filed in early July in King County Superior Court.
A Port of Seattle spokesperson declined to respond to questions about the case.
Moss’s allegations of race-based discrimination, the suit claims, prompted the Port to place Covey on administrative leave in early June. At the time, the Port declined to specify why Covey was placed on leave, citing an ongoing investigation into his workplace conduct.
In summer 2019, the Port hired attorney Elizabeth Van Moppes to investigate Moss’s claims. Van Moppes produced two reports — the second of which, the complaint alleges, is a Port-requested revision of her first report in which she “removed four pages of content, [and] changed facts and findings.”
Moss requested both reports in February, through the Port’s public records portal. The documents he received, though, were substantially redacted, which Moss alleges was in violation of the state Public Records Act.
Moss is requesting the Port give him the records it withheld, as well as unspecified penalties.