Seattle to pay more than $2M to whistleblowers who revealed Mayor Durkan’s texts had been deleted

SEATTLE — The city of Seattle is paying $2.3 million to two employees who helped reveal thousands of former Mayor Jenny Durkan’s text messages that had been deleted, according to new details obtained by the Seattle Times.

The text messages were between Durkan, then-police chief Carmen Best, and others during the height of the racial justice protests in the summer of 2020.

The mayor’s messages should’ve been preserved by law but were not.

Investigators said Durkan’s phone settings were manually changed in early July 2020 to delete all messages after 30 days.

The two whistleblowers behind the complaint said they were compelled to resign following the complaint.

The Times reports the settlement agreement includes $25,000 in lost wages — the rest of the $2.3 million is for general damages and lawyer fees.