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Originally published December 29, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified December 29, 2006 at 12:56 PM

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She flipped off president, wants old job

The Issaquah school-bus driver who was fired after making an obscene gesture at President Bush in June is trying to get her old job back...

Seattle Times Eastside bureau

The Issaquah school-bus driver who was fired after making an obscene gesture at President Bush in June is trying to get her old job back.

Staci LaManna, 43, of Renton, is moving forward with a grievance process, hoping the Issaquah School Board will hire her back, said Chris Dugovich, spokesman for the Washington State Council of County and City Employees, the union that represents LaManna.

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LaManna flipped off the president as he and U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert passed by the bus she was driving, which was filled with schoolchildren. It had been a long, frustrating day of traffic delays, in part because of the president's motorcade, Dugovich said. LaManna doesn't deny that the gesture was made, Dugovich said.

"The argument is, does the crime warrant the severity of punishment?" Dugovich said. "We don't think so."

Issaquah School District officials have said that this wasn't the only issue that led to LaManna being terminated.

LaManna worked for a few weeks earlier this school year as a substitute driver for Renton School District, said Randy Matheson, Renton district spokesman. She worked on an "on-call" basis, and the district no longer needs her services there, he said.

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