<br />INDEMNIFICATION OF COUNTY OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND VOLUNTEERS
<br />Sections:2.83.005Purpose.2.83.010Definitions.2.83.020Request for defense of claim.2.83.030Authorizing defense of claim.2.83.040 Indemnification and payment of judgment.2.83.050Action
<br />for malicious prosecution authorized.2.83.060Duties of employees2.83.070Effective Date2.83.080Severability
<br />2.83.005 Purpose.The purpose of this chapter is to establish a procedure, as authorized by RCW 4.96.041, under which an officer, employee, or volunteer who is subject to a claim or
<br />action for damages may request that Kittitas County authorize and provide the defense of the claim and pay the expenses of the defense, and to establish a procedure under which Kittitas
<br />County may pay damage awards.
<br />2.83.010 Definitions.The definitions in this section apply to the following terms as used in this chapter:“Claim” means a demand for monetary compensation as a result of injury or damages
<br />allegedly caused by the county, its officers, employees, or volunteers, and includes any threatened, pending, or completed civil action or lawsuit brought under chapter 4.96 RCW or 42
<br />U.S.C. §1981 et seq.“Employee” means any person who is or was an employee of Kittitas County. “Employee” includes the estate, marital community, or personal representative of an employee.“Officer”
<br />means any person who is or was an elected or appointed official or officer of Kittitas County. “Officer” includes the estate, marital community, or personal representative of an officer.“Prosecuting
<br />Attorney” means the elected Prosecuting Attorney of Kittitas County or individual, such as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, designated by the Prosecuting Attorney of Kittitas County to
<br />carry out the functions and responsibilities of this chapter“Volunteer” means any person who is or was a volunteer, as defined in RCW 51.12.035, of Kittitas County. “Volunteer” includes
<br />the estate, marital community, or personal representative of a volunteer.2.82.020 Request for defense of claim.An officer, employee, or volunteer may request that Kittitas County defend
<br />and pay the necessary expenses of defending any claimor action for damages arising from acts or omissions while performing or in good faith purporting to perform his or her official
<br />duties. Such request shall be in writing, and shall be submitted to the Board of County Commissioners and the Prosecuting Attorney.2.82.030 Authorizing defense of claim.A request for
<br />defense of claim shall be grantedif the Board of County Commissioners finds:The acts or omissions of the officer, employee, or volunteer were, or in good faith purported to be, within
<br />the scope of his or her official duties; andThat, for purposes of the issues raised by the claim or action for damages, a particular person is, or was during the relevant time period,
<br />in fact, a county officer, employee, or volunteer.However, Kittitas County reserves the right to deny a request for defense of claim against an officer, employee, or volunteer charged
<br />with official misconduct, malfeasance, or willful neglect of duty in his or her office; or alleged to have unlawfully obtained personal benefits, or benefits for any person not entitled
<br />thereto, while acting in his or her official capacity; or if Kittitas County itself initiates the action against the officer, employee, or volunteer.2.82.040 Indemnification and payment
<br />of judgment.
<br />When Kittitas County has defended a claim or action for damages against an officer, employee, or volunteer pursuant to this chapter, and the court hearing the action finds the officer,
<br />employee, or volunteer was acting within the scope of his or her official duties, Kittitas County shall indemnify the officer, employee, or volunteer, and shall pay any non-punitive,
<br />final monetaryjudgment for costs and damages entered on such claim, after termination of all appellate review, if any. Pursuant to RCW 4.96.041(4), a judgment creditor shall seek satisfaction
<br />for a judgment only from Kittitas County and a judgment for costs and damages shall not become a lien upon any property of the officer, employee, or volunteer.Payment of any punitive
<br />damages judgment against an officer, employee, or volunteershall only be made by specific resolution of a majority of the Board of County Commissioners.2.83.050Action for malicious prosecution
<br />authorized.The Board of County Commissioners hereby authorizes the Prosecuting Attorney to bring an action or counterclaim for malicious prosecution, under RCW 4.24.350, on behalf of
<br />a county officer, employee, or volunteer when, in the sole discretion of the Prosecuting Attorney, the Prosecuting Attorney determines it is in the best interest of the county to bring
<br />such action or counterclaim. The Prosecuting Attorney is authorized to provide legal services for the county officer, employee, or volunteer, and to expend county funds to prosecute
<br />such action or counterclaim.
<br />2.83.060Duties of employees.Any officer, employee, or volunteer contacted or served with a claim, demand, summons, or complaint shall immediately notify and deliver any documentation
<br />received, as well as any request for defense, to the Board of County Commissioners and the Prosecuting Attorney. The officer, employee, or volunteer shall cooperate with Kittitas County
<br />and its liability carrier, assist in the conduct of suits and in enforcing any right of contribution or indemnity, shall attend pre-trial hearings and trials, and assist in securing
<br />and giving evidence and obtaining the attendance of witnesses. Except as specifically directed by the Prosecuting Attorney or assigned special counsel, no officer, employee, or volunteer
<br />may engage in any of the following acts with respect to claims or actions for damages defended pursuant to this chapter.Engage or retain legal counsel at Kittitas County’s expense;Negotiate
<br />or otherwise affect the settlement of such claim or action for damages;Make an admission of fault or liability involving such claim or action for damages;Discuss with persons who are
<br />not county employees, assigned special counsel or others approved by the Prosecuting Attorney, or collective bargaining unit representatives, facts and circumstances of the claim.Any
<br />violation of the provisions of this section may result in the revocation and cancellation of the continued defense and indemnification of the officer, employee, or volunteer, and may
<br />also result in Kittitas County taking legal action against the officer, employee, or volunteer for reimbursement of the costs, expenses, and damages incurred or expendedby Kittitas County
<br />under this chapter.
<br />2.83.070Effective date.
<br />The effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter shall be January 1, 2021.
<br />2.83.080 Severability.
<br />Should any provision of this chapter be declared invalid, the remainder of this chapter or the application of such provision to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected and
<br />shall be valid and enforceable to the fullest extent allowed by law.