Legal documents can be awfully confusing, so as a courtesy to voters, here’s a brief summary of some of the revelations from Susan Hutchison’s discrimination suit against KIRO TV.
Hutchison’s suit charged KIRO with age and race discrimination after she was replaced as evening news anchor by a younger, Asian-American woman, Kristy Lee.
Shorter Susan: Attractive white women are an oppressed minority.
In a deposition, Hutchison said the late U.S. Rep. Jennifer Dunn, a Republican, had asked her to run against U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat. Hutchison also said the head of the Republican Party in King County had asked her to run for Seattle mayor.
Shorter Susan: Mayor of Seattle is a nonpartisan office, and since I was asked to run for it, that must make me a nonpartisan.
She believed KIRO executives were out to get her when she was suspended for a week without pay in July 2002. The suspension came after Hutchison was denied a vacation request over the Fourth of July holiday, called in sick and went on a vacation to Bend, Ore., with her husband.
“I was deeply humiliated and punished beyond belief for taking two sick days and there was a hatred there among the news director and the general manager,” she said in a deposition.
Shorter Susan: I was deeply humiliated for being treated like, you know, any other employee, when in fact I’m Susan Hutchison.
Hutchison was assigned work she didn’t know how to do, she said, “to make me a spectacle so that they could write me up every day for what I could not accomplish … they wanted me gone, period.”
KIRO officials maintained in the records that they demoted Hutchison because of low ratings.
Shorter Susan: I was spiritually ready for the job, but I guess I wasn’t professionally ready.
Shorter, Shorter Susan: Nobody can fire the KC Executive for not knowing how to do her job.
She took medical leave Sept. 19, 2002 — and never returned to work before she was fired Dec. 20 — because she was “totally stressed out” by her situation at KIRO.
Shorter Susan: I didn’t quit; I was fired for not being a young Asian woman.
Hutchison called the mother of a college student who wanted to intern at KIRO and told her the station would be a bad environment for her daughter. The student’s mother, according to a sworn statement, found the call from Hutchison — whom she had never met — “strange.”
Hutchison alleged that John Woodin, then KIRO’s general manager, was a “sexual predator” and had a “drug problem,” according to the mother. Her daughter went ahead and worked at KIRO in the summer of 2002 and told her parents she “had no problems with John Woodin and had seen nothing to corroborate the accusations made by Susan Hutchison.”
Shorter Susan: I’m strange. I’m also a vindictive, spiteful shrew, who’s not afraid to slander you behind your back if you dare to cross me, so watch out.