Romaine lawsuit dismissed from federal court

TACOMA — A former city of Poulsbo Police Detective’s federal lawsuit against the city was dismissed on June 21.

The city was investigating Grant Romaine for abuse of authority when he resigned in December 2007. He alleged he was forced out of his position for investigating what he thought were improper campaign donations and being publicly outspoken against then-Mayor Kathryn Quade.

He filed the civil rights claim in U.S. District Court in Tacoma in September 2009, asking for $10 million from the city and $3 million from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, which also was named in the lawsuit.

“It was not thrown out due to the fact that it was frivolous or the claim was not true,” Romaine said. “It was thrown out because I didn’t have enough evidence at the time.”

The city began investigating Romaine in September 2007 and alleged he had harassed women, lied on the job and surfed law enforcement databases for personal use.

However, Romaine alleges the city repeatedly violated its own policies in the investigation, and the start of the conflict was Quade becoming upset that Romaine was speaking at City Council meetings and writing letters to local newspapers critical of her, the lawsuit said.

Current Poulsbo Mayor Becky Erickson declined to comment earlier this week, but City Attorney Eileen Lawrence did release a statement.

“The City of Poulsbo and those individually named in the Romaine lawsuit are grateful for the court’s carefully considered order dismissing Mr. Romaine’s federal claims in full,” she said. “We are hopeful that with additional briefing, the judge will consider ruling on his state claims as well. This ruling confirms the city and city officials and employees did nothing to violate Mr. Romaine’s rights under federal law. We also believe a similar result should occur with regard to Mr. Romaine’s remaining claims.”

A $10 million claim against the city, which Romaine filed at the state level in May 2009, is still active.

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