ELLENSBURG - Kittitas County commissioners announced Tuesday that county Community Development Services Assistant Director Allison Kimball has been removed from that position as of Oct. 20 and "reassigned" to the position of planner 2 within the department.

A news release indicated Kimball no longer has supervisory or department administrative responsibilities.

The demotion comes after what county commissioners called a "personnel issue inquiry" that had Kimball on paid leave from Sept. 5 to Oct. 6 when she returned to work.

Also placed on paid leave was CDS Director Darryl Piercy. Commissioners announced Oct. 8 that they had "released" or fired Piercy from the director position in a 2-1 vote, citing "performance related issues" connected to service to the public, management of employees and communication concerns.

Piercy later said the commissioners' action was in error and will later be determined to be wrongful termination but has not elaborated on what action he may take. Piercy served as CDS director since Oct. 18, 2004.

In regard to Kimball, Commission Chairman Mark McClain on Tuesday said Kimball's reassignment to a planner 2 position concludes her personnel review in connection with the inquiry. Kimball has worked for the county since 1992.

McClain said the Kimball personnel review related to management performance.

McClain declined to comment in detail what concerns prompted the paid leave for Piercy and Kimball and the investigation that followed by the county Prosecutor's Office and the county Human Resources Department.

In past comments commissioners have said they are limited in what they can say about personnel issues in order to protect the rights of employees.

McClain said Kimball's salary would stay the same as it fell within the range for a CDS planner 2 position. Her salary is $4,576 per month.

The assistant CDS position will stay vacant for the time being, McClain said, in light of budget constraints and a drops in revenue coming to the county. It likely will stay vacant at least into the first of next year when it will be re-examined.

He added that a job description for the CDS director position has been developed and will soon be advertised.

Kimball and Piercy could not be reached for comment for this story.

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