Inglewood treasurer files $10 million defamation lawsuit against mayor, City Council

Inglewood Treasurer Wanda Brown is suing the city, as well as Mayor James T. Butts Jr. and City Council members personally, for defamation and infliction of emotional distress after they slashed her salary by 83% and removed her from weekly council meetings.

In the lawsuit, Brown’s attorneys, Walter Lack, Richard Kinnan and Christopher Kanne, allege the city retaliated against Brown for warning about Inglewood’s “declining cash balance, its increasing deficit spending and growing negative unrestricted fund balance, the need to curb spending, and about the wasteful and expensive use of outside consultants.”

“Treasurer Brown’s reported concerns were met not with understanding and appreciation, but rather with the craziest, most outrageous, intolerable, indecent, extreme, wicked, despicable retaliatory conduct conceivable: conduct absolutely intended by defendant Butts and his Council to punish Treasurer Brown and cause her severe mental and emotional distress,” the lawsuit states.

The state prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who report violations they “reasonably believe” violate the law, according to the lawsuit.

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