Former Spokane Co. health officer filed $1.4 million claim

The previous Spokane County well being officer who believes he was fired final yr resulting from unpopular choices he made to attempt to include COVID-19 has filed a declare with the well being district, which might result in a lawsuit.

The Spokesman-Overview stories Dr. Bob Lutz filed the executive declare on Oct. 8. Robert Carlson, Lutz’s lawyer, mentioned the hope is that the district determines Lutz’s declare has benefit and can work to resolve the difficulty out of court docket.

Lutz is claiming a minimum of $1.4 million in damages for wrongful termination along with “defamation, emotional misery, psychological anguish and damage to skilled fame” because of his firing in October 2020.

The well being district has 60 days to reply to Lutz’s declare, at which level Lutz might proceed with a lawsuit.

The Board of Well being Chairwoman Mary Kuney didn’t reply to request for remark.

In his declare, Lutz maintains that his firing was unlawful underneath state and well being district bylaws and he asks to be reinstated because the well being officer and awarded the requested damages.

The declare particulars a number of examples of alleged political strain and stress between Lutz and sure Board of Well being members all through 2020, particularly when the county was caught in restricted phases resulting from COVID-19 case charges.

Lutz was employed by the Division of Well being quickly after he was fired, in a task to assist the state’s ongoing COVID-19 response.

“I took a stand for Public Well being. It value me my job,” Lutz mentioned in a press release launched by way of his lawyer on Wednesday. “As a public well being doctor, it has been my duty to guard the general public’s well being and security.”

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