Jefferson Banner - News
May 1, 2000 - Dispute between Tammy Douglas and the City of Jefferson

The official City press release on this matter is brief:

The City of Jefferson is hesitant to respond to Ms. Douglas's claims due to numerous discrepancies between the City's factual account of events and Ms. Douglas's account of events as listed in her Notice of Claim. One of the major discrepancies is that Ms. Douglas claims that she was fired on January 7, 2000. This is not true, Ms. Douglas was suspended without pay on January 7, 2000, pending further review of this matter. 

The Notice of Claim has been submitted to the City Attorney and the City's insurance company for their review. The City is awaiting their recommendations. 

Here is the full text of Tammy Douglas's complaint:

May 1, 2000

City of Jefferson
c/o City Clerk Tanya Parlow
317 South Main Street
Jefferson, Wisconsin 53549

Tanya Parlow
317 South Main Street
Jefferson, Wisconsin 53549

David Schornack
317 South Main Street
Jefferson, Wisconsin 53549

Re: Notice of Claim and Claim of Tammy Douglas

Dear Ms. Parlow and Mr. Schornack:

This document constitutes a notice of claim and claim filed on behalf of Tammy Douglas against the City of Jefferson as required by ยง 893.80 of the Wisconsin Statutes. 

1. Tammy Douglas resides at 216 Burr Oak Street, Palmyra, Wisconsin 53156 and has a telephone number of 262-495-8577.

2. At all times relevant to this claim, Tammy Douglas was employed by the City of Jefferson.

3. On December 29, 1999, Tammy Douglas made a deposit at the F&M Bank on behalf of the City of Jefferson.

4. On January 6, 2000, Tanya Parlow received a bank statement and found a $300.00 discrepancy. 

5. Tanya Parlow brought the situation to the attention of David Schornack, City Administrator. Mr. Schornack brought the situation to the attention of Detective Gary Bleecker.

6. Throughout the day of January 6, 2000, Ms. Parlow, Mr. Schornack, and Detective Bleecker investigated the $300.00 discrepancy. They reached the conclusion that Tammy Douglas must have stolen the money since she was responsible for the cash drawer and was the one who made the deposit. They could think of no other explanation.

7. Detective Bleecker informed Tammy Douglas that he may refer charges of theft to the District Attorney's office. 

8. David Schornack told Tammy Douglas that she should take her personal belongings and leave for the day.

9. On January 7, 2000, the City of Jefferson fired Tammy Douglas and she was told she would be off the payroll as of noon that day. 

10. On January 7, 2000, an article appeared in the Watertown newspaper stating that Tammy Douglas was expected to be charged that day in Jefferson County court with embezzling $300.00 from the City. The article described that Tammy Douglas was offered the opportunity to resign.

11. At 2:35 p.m. on January 7, 2000, Detective Bleecker called the F&M Bank and spoke with Charles Klug. Detective Bleecker inquired whether the bank had found an overage on December 29, 1999, the date Tammy Douglas was accused of having stolen $300.00. Charles Klug informed the detective that the Bank had an overage of $300.00 on December 29, 1999, and it was the same teller who had waited on Tammy Douglas. Mr. Klug said he would talk with Mr. Schornack about crediting the City of Jefferson's account with $300.00. 

12. At approximately 4:50 p.m. on January 7, 2000, Mr. Schornack called Tammy Douglas to inform her that she had been cleared. Detective Bleecker confirmed this by telephone on January 8, 2000.

13. On January 11, 2000, City Clerk Tanya Parlow wrote a disciplinary warning letter to Tammy Douglas blaming the entire incident on her.

14. Tammy Douglas, through her attorneys, Cullen, Weston, Pines & Bach, wrote back to the City of Jefferson asking that the disciplinary warning letter be retracted. As grounds, Ms. Douglas pointed out that several mistakes had been made and that the City of Jefferson shared in the blame. The City of Jefferson declined to rescind the disciplinary warning letter.

15. The City of Jefferson's hasty accusation of Tammy Douglas was defamatory and caused her considerable embarrassment in the community. The City of Jefferson had a duty to fully investigate this matter before making an accusation. The City of Jefferson failed to contact the F&M Bank prior to making accusation of theft against Tammy Douglas. This omission by the City of Jefferson and the defamatory comments made by the City of Jefferson have caused Tammy Douglas to incur legal expense and suffer emotional distress.

Tammy Douglas seeks monetary damages in the amount of $18,880.00 to cover her legal costs and for compensatory damages.

This notice of claim has been made within 120 days of the actions of the City of Jefferson giving rise to this complaint, as required by statute. 

Dated this ____ day of May, 2000.


Jordan C. Loeb, SBN 1023088
Attorneys for Tammy Douglas

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