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City of Spokane Administrator Johnnie Perkins resigns after investigation finds evidence of sexual harassment

Former city administrator Johnnie Perkins
Michael C. Anglin/ The city of Spokane
Former city administrator Johnnie Perkins

Spokane city administrator Johnnie Perkins has resigned after an investigation found he evidence that he violated the city’s sexual harassment policy.

In a press conference Friday, Mayor Nadine Woodward said Perkins had shared intimate details about a personal relationship with city employees in the workplace, and after hours.

She declined to share further details about the allegations, or the human resources investigation into Perkins’ conduct. She said Perkins had been provided an opportunity to be interviewed and he had opted not to participate.

Woodward thanked city employees for coming forward with their concerns and said she was confident in the investigation process.

"Employees, and especially women in this organization need to feel comfortable reporting inappropriate conduct, and they need to know every effort will be made to determine the facts, and those facts, whatever they may be, will be acted upon," she said.

Woodward said the investigation report would soon be available through the public records process.

An email to Perkins’ attorney was not immediately returned. He told The Spokesman Review on Thursday that Perkins categorically denied the accusations.

Perkins previously worked at the City of San Diego as the deputy chief operating officer. He joined Woodward's administration in 2021 replacing Wes Crago, who left the job after less than a year.

He previously was accused by former Neighborhoods, Housing and Human Services Director Cupid Alexander of racial bias. An independent investigation conducted by an outside firm found no evidence of bias.

Woodward added that parks director Garrett Jones will continue as interim city administrator until the end of the year.

Woodward is up for reelection, facing former state Commerce Department director Lisa Brown, as well as the former president of the city's fire union. Whoever wins in November will likely appoint the next city administrator.

This story was updated on July 14, 2023 to include additional reporting.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.