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Davenport doesn’t have to give former fire chief a job back, judge rules

Washburn argues she’s guaranteed a position. The city and a judge now disagree.

DAVENPORT, Iowa-- A Scott County judge decided on Monday, Sept. 3 the City of Davenport does not have to provide former fire chief Lynn Washburn a position with the Davenport Fire Department under Iowa law.

Washburn was fired last year for misusing taxpayer money. However, she argues she has what's called civil servant status. This status protects employees from being unfairly fired and left jobless.

A judge ruled Monday that Washburn does not have this status and is not entitled to a position with the fire department.

Washburn and her attorney have argued she has civil servant status because she had it when she worked at the fire department in Rockford and they're looking to ensure her a district chief position with the department. Monday's decision indicates that this status does not transfer across state lines.

"[Washburn] believed that this is a right under the law," Washburn's attorney Mike Carroll said, "and she believes in that right. And more importantly, she believes she has a job yet to do with the city of Davenport. so she was not willing to walk away."

Carroll said Washburn has 30 days to file an appeal, which could end up in the Iowa Supreme Court. He said he's never seen a case like this before in Iowa and it could have far reaching implication for civil servants across the state.