Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Former administrator sues SV city attorney

Lawsuit is 10th filed by Sharon Hammer and/or James Donoval


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

Sharon Hammer

    Former Sun Valley City Administrator Sharon Hammer has filed a lawsuit for legal malpractice against City Attorney Adam King, seeking money damages for alleged harm he did to Hammer’s professional reputation and for emotional distress.
    The suit was filed in Blaine County 5th District Court on Sept. 12 by Hammer’s attorney and husband, James Donoval.
    The 77-page complaint cites 194 incidents that allegedly occurred between 2009 and 2011 among Hammer, King, City Councilman Nils Ribi and former Mayor Wayne Willich.
    The suit is the 10th suit or countersuit filed by Hammer or Donoval related to city personnel issues that came to a head in late 2011.
    The recently filed suit asks the court to find that King committed malpractice related to:
- Alleged legal advice that he provided Hammer regarding alleged harassment of her by Ribi.
- Her termination by the city.
- The city’s alleged effort to seek criminal prosecution of her.
- Allegedly “error-laden” reports issued by the Idaho Attorney General’s Office and by a forensic auditor.
    The suit also seeks an injunction prohibiting King from acting as attorney on any matters related to Hammer.
    The complaint states that several discussions that King and Hammer had between March 2010 and September 2011 regarding alleged harassment of Hammer by Ribi constituted “attorney-client conferences.”
    “Attorney King failed to provide Ms. Hammer the requisite warning that Attorney King only represented Sun Valley and was not providing Ms. Hammer with any personal legal advice at any of the attorney-client conferences,” the complaint states.
    In an interview Monday, King said he hadn’t been served with the suit, and therefore could not comment on it. He did say that to prevail in a malpractice suit, “you have to have an attorney-client relationship, which never existed” between himself and Hammer.
Greg Moore: gmoore@mtexpress.com




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