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After settlement, man files 2 more claims against Tacoma

A Lakewood man who already received a settlement from the City of Tacoma earlier this year, based on a claim he filed about the city's top domestic violence victims advocate, has filed two more claims that collectively seek $2 million.

In documents filed with the city clerk on Sept. 2, Kelvin Jackson now contends Gloria China Fortson continued to harass him after his initial settlement and also irrevocably harmed his relationship with his now teenage daughter, Quiymani Jackson, while Fortson worked for the city.

Jackson, who in May agreed to a $29,000 settlement, is seeking $1 million apiece for himself and his daughter.

“His own claim mainly has to deal with things that happened after the settlement,” Thaddeus Martin, Jackson’s attorney, said Wednesday. “Ms. Fortson continued to harass him and filed frivolous protection orders against him while she was still on the city’s payroll.”

The separate claim for Jackson’s daughter “is for everything – the damage to the father-daughter relationship,” Martin added. “It’s basically the loss of those years (with his daughter) because of the direct interference by the city’s employee.”

City Attorney Elizabeth Pauli said Wednesday that her office is still reviewing the claims.

“We’ll be looking at whether or not what he is alleging falls within the scope of what’s already been claimed and released,” Pauli said.

Fortson, 54, the city’s lone full-time DV victims’ advocate, was fired Aug. 31 for ethics code violations based on her actions while serving as an advocate for Kelvin’s ex-wife, Keisha Jackson, during the couple’s tangled legal separation and custody case.

A city investigation, later upheld by a hearing examiner, found Fortson used her position and city funds to rent a van and otherwise help Keisha Jackson leave the state with the couple’s two children in 2007, in violation of a judge’s order and Kelvin’s visitation rights.

Keisha Jackson absconded with the children for more than seven months. Police in Florida later arrested her; she later pleaded guilty in Washington to a contempt of court charge.

Kelvin Jackson, who repeatedly complained to city officials about Fortson’s interference in the custody case, filed a $1 million claim against the city earlier this year based on Fortson’s actions. He ultimately agreed to a settlement in May.

Two months later, during an appeal of the city’s ethics investigation against her, Fortson sought a permanent protection order against Jackson, in part claiming that his complaints about her to the city constituted harassment. A judge denied her petition.

After learning she would be fired late last month, Fort-son sued the city, claiming the investigation was shoddy and the hearing examiner’s denial of her appeal ignored evidence and the law. She is seeking a judge to reverse the ruling and reinstate her in her city job. Steve Downing, Fortson’s attorney, did not immediately return a phone call Wednesday.

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