Fired artistic director files $2 million suit against Spokane Civic Theater

SPOKANE, Wash. - Yvonne Johnson has filed a $2 million dollar lawsuit against the Spokane Civic Theater in response to being fired by the theater's board of directors on July 11.

Johnson, who served as the Civic's Executive Artistic Director for the past eight years, claims the board breached her employment contract, which pays her an annual salary of $90,000.

To date, the board has not publicly explained why Johnson was fired, and in a recent interview with KXLY 4, Johnson says she wasn't given a reason, either.

Among the claims made in the 18 page lawsuit:

  • Johnson received a "glowing" performance review and $7,000 bonus in June, just weeks before her firing
  • Three board members "conspired" to have Johnson fired via "a secret board meeting"
  • Johnson has been prohibited from "having any contact with any director, employee, donor, or anyone else related" to the theater, and that Spokane Police will be called if she's found on the property.

The lawsuit also calls for an injunction to halt the Civic's production of "Les Miserables" this fall because it would violate her "protectable property and reputation interests."

Johnson's asking for "no less than two million dollars" for loss of wages, attorney fees, and damages including emotional distress.