In what seems to be a regular pattern, Washington State was recently accused of trying to hide public records. In an ironic twist, in this case the Department of Corrections appears to have been hiding records that would show how it hid records…yes, you’ll have to read that again. Going completely through the looking glass, the Washington Coalition for Open Government accused the DOC of hiding records that would show how the DOC has previously helped its employees hide public records from disclosure.
While denying responsibility, the State Attorney General’s Office and the DOC agreed to split responsibility for a $65,000 settlement. This fits the disappointing pattern of behavior by the State that the trial lawyers at this law firm discovered in a 2011 trial against DSHS for the Agency’s concealment and failure to produce public records. DSHS eventually settled that public records act case for $236,000, but not until after the Superior Court found it liable for violating the law and even then only on the eve of being penalized by the Court.