Douglas County Public Utility District has terminated a contract with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to operate the Wells and Methow hatcheries following reports of an investigation into sexual harassment that resulted in termination among top-ranking employees at one of the facilities. PUD spokeswoman Meaghan Vibbert says while the report played a factor….
Douglas County PUD, which owns the hatcheries, decided Monday to end its one-year contract with the state. PUD spokeswoman Meaghan Vibbert says the contract renewed in June was set to pay $1.36 million to the state for the Wells Hatchery and another $715,000 for the Methow Hatchery. The district is working on a 90-day termination plan with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to Vibbert. Douglas PUD will be posting job openings soon for any vacant positions.
The four highest-ranking employees at Wells were fired by the state earlier this month after an investigation into sexual-harassment claims found a workplace atmosphere riddled with sexual conversations and hazing.
The Tacoma News Tribune reports Fish and Wildlife spokesman Bruce Botka said the agency wants to talk to Douglas PUD officials about their decision.
The Associated Press contributed to this report