Chapter 2.70


2.70.010    Indemnification of employees, officials, and volunteers.

2.70.020    Defense provision – Failure to cooperate.

2.70.030    No duty to indemnify – Conditions.

2.70.040    Duty to indemnify – Common law.

2.70.010 Indemnification of employees, officials, and volunteers.

The city shall indemnify, hold harmless, and defend a city employee, elected official or volunteer for any liability that may arise from acts or omissions committed by the employee, volunteer or elected official where said acts or omissions were made in good faith during the course of and within the scope of city employment or volunteer activity for the city, or while performing duties as an elected official. [Ord. 356 § 1, 2002]

2.70.020 Defense provision – Failure to cooperate.

If the city determines that it will provide a defense for the affected city employee/elected official/volunteer, then the affected employee/ elected official/volunteer will fully cooperate with the city in preparing a defense and trying the case should it go to trial. If the city employee/elected official/volunteer fails to cooperate, then the city may refuse to provide further defense and indemnity. [Ord. 356 § 2, 2002]

2.70.030 No duty to indemnify – Conditions.

The city shall have no duty to indemnify, hold harmless or defend a city employee/ elected official/volunteer affected with regards to the following:

(1) Nonmonetary orders that are entered against the employee/elected official/volunteer;

(2) Consequences of the lawsuit that occur prior to the time the employee/elected official/volunteer notifies the city attorney about the claim;

(3) Any criminal complaint;

(4) Any intentional tort or for any conduct that is willful or wanton; provided, however, if the city employee/elected official/volunteer denies that he/she has committed intentional or willful or wanton conduct, then the city shall provide the defense but shall have no duty to indemnify the employee/elected official/volunteer if any judgment is entered against him/her for intentional or willful and wanton wrongful conduct; provided further, if the trier of fact finds that the employee/elected official/volunteer has committed a willful, wanton or intentional wrongful act, then he/she shall be required to reimburse the city for defense costs, including attorney fees, incurred in defending the employee/elected official/volunteer in said lawsuit. The city shall require the employee to sign an agreement indicating he/she will reimburse the city for defense costs, including attorney fees, should the trier of fact determine the employee committed a willful, wanton or intentional wrongful act. This document shall be signed before the city is obligated to provide a defense; and

(5) Provided, however, the city attorney shall defend an elective city official in a judicial hearing to determine the sufficiency of a recall charge as provided in RCW 29.82.023 if the official requests such defense. Said defense by the city attorney shall include the cost of appealing the decision rendered by the superior court concerning the sufficiency of the recall charge if the city attorney determines there is legal merit for an appeal and the official requests such an appeal. [Ord. 356 § 3, 2002]

2.70.040 Duty to indemnify – Common law.

The city’s duty to indemnify, hold harmless and defend is recognized as a common law duty. [Ord. 356 § 4, 2002]