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Monday, July 16, 2007

Public Records Show: UW Pays $480,000 in Sex Abuse Settlement

"A man who claims he was repeatedly molested and raped at age 13 by a female mental patient nearly three times his age has settled a lawsuit with the University of Washington for $480,000. ... The settlement amount was not disclosed in court records as part of a confidential agreement, although the UW recently released the figure and other information in response to a public-disclosure request by The Seattle Times."

If government agencies can hide these kinds of things, do you think they have an incentive to fix problems? The money, you say; the UW had to pay $480,000 and that should create an incentive to fix things. But that's $480,000 of other people's money; not much of an incentive. Having an embarrassing story on the front page of the Seattle Times is much more of a motivator than a $480,000 judgment. And having the story on the front page required the Public Records Act.