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Poulsbo responds to Grant Romaine's $10M claim

POULSBO — The city of Poulsbo has responded to claims from ex-employee Grant Romaine, who filed a $10 million claim against the city May 12.

Romaine, a former detective for the Poulsbo Police Department represented by attorney Randy Loun, alleged wrongful discharge, intentional infliction of emotional distress, defamation of character and violation of civil rights.

He resigned from the department in December 2007 amid an independent investigation conducted by the Bremerton Police Department, which reported he allegedly abused his police authority.

The city's attorney, Eileen M. Lawrence with Davis Grimm Payne & Marra, was assigned by Poulsbo's risk manager the Association of Washington Cities and completed a 19-page response to the claim dated July 8.

The document denies Romaine's claims.

"Based on the full investigation of these allegations and an evaluation of the legal basis for the claims asserted, there is no liability for any of the claims or statutes referenced by virtue of these facts," Lawrence states.

Romaine's 10-page claim cites a string of alleged issues with city leaders beginning in 2002, including allegations Quade and interim Police Chief Jake Evans conspired to remove Romaine from the department. Romaine alleges Quade was angered by his vocal opposition to an outside hire for the police chief search.

Lawrence's response details findings from the city's investigation regarding each issue noted by Romaine.

"Many of the historic events included in the notice of claim are both inaccurate and irrelevant to the events that led to (Romaine's) resignation," Lawrence said.

Quade said she is confident in the city's response to the claims, and said she believes they have been "successfully refuted." She refrained further comment as potential litigation may be pending.

The city also has reserved the right to recoup any legal costs or fees spent if the issue is brought to litigation.

Loun, through an administrative assistant Friday, declined comment on the matter.

The investigation into Romaine, which began in September 2007, reported he indulged in actions of harassment toward women, lying on the job and surfing law enforcement databases for personal use. Accounts in the report against Romaine date back a decade.

The report also states there are indications Romaine was untruthful in one, possibly two, previous internal affairs investigations. Being untruthful in an internal investigation is grounds for de-commissioning an officer.

Romaine was hired to Poulsbo’'s police force in August 1989 and has served as a school resource officer for North Kitsap High School. He ran but was not elected for a position on the North Kitsap School District Board of Directors in 2005, and according to the Bremerton report was discharged from the Navy for a psychological issue before joining Poulsbo’'s police force.

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