Updated Oct. 1, 2016
Save Tacoma Water has sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson asking the AG to include the City of Tacoma in the lawsuit filed against the Port of Tacoma et al for violating RCW 42.17A. A public records request submitted by STW revealed a six page document called Confidentiality and Common Interest Agreement between the City of Tacoma and the Port of Tacoma.
It was way last August 15, when the AGO filed the lawsuit against the Port of Tacoma, Pierce County Chamber of Commerce and the Pierce County Economic Development Board for using public funds and facilities against the Water Protection Petition – a citizen initiative sponsored by Save Tacoma Water. The News Release sent out by his office reads in part:
The complaint alleges that Port officials violated RCW 42.17A.555 by using public funds and facilities against two ballot propositions promoted by the group “Save Tacoma Water.” The AGO alleges that the EDB and the Chamber violated RCW 42.17A.255 by failing to disclose independent expenditures they made opposing the propositions in the same lawsuit.
The AGO filed the lawsuit in response to a Citizen Action letter filed by Olympia resident and long time activist Arthur West. In 20 days the defendants must respond. Well, that hasn’t yet. Apparently the AG’s office has agreed to an extension for the response.
Save Tacoma Water (STW) has retained legal help to ensure Save Tacoma Water’s interests are represented in the AG’s lawsuit. Please support our legal defense fund by writing a check to STW or making a secure online donation.
From the AGO News Release: “Washington’s campaign disclosure laws demand transparency and accountability,” Attorney General Bob Ferguson said. “Washington elections, including the financial forces that drive them, will take place in the clear light of day.”
Arthur West’s letter claimed public funds (Pierce County taxpayers), were being illegally used in the expenditures for the Port’s lawsuit against STW. On July 1, 2016, Judge Nevin tossed off the ballot the voters right to vote on whether a water permit should be issued to a water user needing more than a million gallons of fresh water a day. The AG complaint “piles on”, as it is known in the legal world (where charges are added to the original complaint) – adding the charge of use public facilities, which is a more serious offense. What is noteworthy is, the AG’s lawsuit names the Port of Tacoma Commissioners personally. Now the shoe is on the other foot as the Port’s lawsuit against STW personally named Donna Waters and Sherry Bockwinkel plus Jon and Jane Does 1-5 – in the power brokers attempt to intimidate all the leaders of the volunteer citizen group. A court date has not yet been set and no response as of this latest update.
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