Area official suspended for sending too many texts

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YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — When the Yakima city manager suspended the head of the city Utilities and Engineering Department he said it was for sending too many personal text messages from her work phone.

The messages obtained Friday by the Yakima Herald-Republic show that many were derisive or critical of other city officials, business owners and labor union leaders.

In one of the messages, Debbie Cook wrote about City Manager Tony O’Rourke that she wondered “what I was smokin a year ago when I told tony I would be honored to work for him!”

O’Rourke suspended Cook this month for two weeks without pay for taking time from her job for the personal texts.

Cook sent a majority of the texts to Assistant City Attorney Jim Mitchell who has resigned.

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