The attorney for the former Colfax Police Chief is planning to file a lawsuit for $5.2 million against the city of Colfax.

Former Colfax Police Chief Rick McNannay’s attorney, Bob Dunn of Dunn & Black in Spokane, said they will first file a tort claim notice, a precursor to a lawsuit, in response to McNannay’s firing in January.

Dunn said McNannay is suing for defamation, slander, libel, false light and wrongful termination, and is hoping to be rewarded frontpay and backpay. Dunn said McNannay is suing on behalf of his wife as well.

The city, which failed to return calls to the Daily News, fired McNannay earlier this year because of what the city cited as “findings of dishonesty from an independent third-party investigation.”

The city accused McNannay of being dishonest about “attestations of compliance with state mandates for pre-employment certification of police officers.”

A Jan. 25 Daily News story reported that according to McNannay and emails he exchanged with city staff and the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission, the Colfax Police Department in 2016 did not follow the state-mandated requirement of performing background checks — including issuing polygraph tests — when hiring part-time officers who were already working at other local law enforcement agencies. McNannay said after he was made aware of the mandate, he worked to correct the issue.

McNannay told the Daily News in January he believes his transparency after finding out about the hiring oversight and his email conversations with an official of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission clears him of allegations of dishonesty.

Dunn said attorneys for McNannay have appeared in front of the Civil Service Commission arguing that his termination was without cause and that he should be reinstated as police chief.

McNannay has been with the Colfax Police Department since 2012.

There will be a Civil Service Commission proceeding in July.

Since the announcement of McNannay’s firing, Colfax Mayor Todd Vanek, mayor since 2012, has opted not to run for re-election.


Anthony Kuipers can be reached at (208) 883-4640, or by email to akuipers@dnews.com.

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