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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sealed Court Records Hinder Probe of Murder Case

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that the Attorney General's Office cannot determine if criminal charges should be filed against two defense attorneys in a murder case because ... the court records are sealed.

Note: The story mentions a court case by the Yakima Herald-Republic to obtain records in a related case. Allied Law Group represents the newspaper in that case so we will not comment on it via og-blog.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Public Records Show ... Secret Deal for Fired Police Officer

This KOMO TV story describes a secret deal the Port of Seattle police offer. You should read this story and see why the Port didn't want the public to know what was going on.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Editorial on Sunshine Committee's Recommendation on Att'y-Client Privilege

The Olympian writes this editorial urging the Legislature to act on the Sunshine Committee's recommendation to narrow the attorney-client privilege exemption from disclosure.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Public Records Show ... Millions in Missing Equipment at Local Schools

This KOMO TV story says it all.

Open Gov't Survey: Washington Good and Idaho Bad

This Spokesman-Review story describes a ranking of the 50 states on open government laws. Washington ranks 4th best and Idaho is down in the potato cellar at 44th place.

The survey looks at laws on the books, not how (or if) they are enforced. We suspect Washington would place lower if actual compliance were factored in.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

UPDATED AGAIN: Sunshine Committee Recomends Pro-Disclosure Approach to Attorney-Client Privilege

The Sunshine Committee voted 7-3 to recommend to the Legislature a narrowing of the current interpretation of the attorney-client privilege as an exemption to disclosure of public records.

The Tacoma News-Tribune has this editorial on the matter.

This is very good news. Now the Legislature needs to enact the Sunshine Committee's recommendation. You'll be hearing about this on og-blog in the coming weeks and months.

UPDATE 1: The Seattle Times writes this editorial on the Sunshine Committee's recommendation.

UPDATE 2: The Spokesman-Review writes this editorial.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Grant County PUD to Put Meeting Audio Online

Good news.

The Grant County PUD, which has a checkered history on open-government matters, decided to put an audio copy of its public meetings online. This editorial from the Columbia Basin Herald describes it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

UPDATED: Franklin County's New Copying Cost System

This story from the Tri-City Herald describes Franklin County's copying cost policy.

UPDATE: This editorial from the Yakima Herald-Republic analyzes the issue.

Monday, November 3, 2008

UPDATED: Pierce County Auditor Won't Release Vote Results on Election Night

Pierce County Auditor Pat McCarthy, a vociferous opponent of open government, will not release election-night results of Pierce County's (bizarre) instant run-off vote for County offices (and McCarthy is running for one of those offices, County Executive).

This blog entry from the Tacoma News-Tribune's Dave Seago is fascinating reading.

UPDATE: After the outcry noted above, the Pierce County Auditor might release the results of the election late Tuesday night. If she feels like it.

Whatcom Open Meetings Situation Heating Up

The Bellingham Herald has this story recapping the Whatcom County open meetings struggle over a secret discussion of the County Executive's salary. It provides a good analysis of a typical open meetings situation.

Here is the previous og-blog posting on this.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Lewis County Might Change Its Open Meetings Policy After State Auditor Report

The (Centralia) Chronicle reports that Lewis County will be changing its ways to conform to the Open Public Meetings Act.