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Monday, June 18, 2007

City Attorney Stops Release of Report Critical of Police

"The Seattle City Attorney's Office has blocked the release of a 'very critical' report on the police department written by its civilian review board. Peter Holmes, an attorney and the chairman of the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board, said he was told Friday that release of the report -- which was set for Monday -- could expose him and its other author to possible civil liability such as defamation."

Liability for releasing a public record in good faith? Not possible. RCW 42.56.100 provides: "No public agency, public official, public employee, or custodian shall be liable, nor shall a cause of action exist, for any loss or damage based upon the release of a public record if the public agency, public official, public employee, or custodian acted in good faith in attempting to comply with the [the Public Records Act]." So fear of liability isn't the reason to withhold this record ...