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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Judge urges city to settle rather than endure a costly trial

A trial could be expensive and risky for both the city of Yakima and Tim Schoenrock, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson wrote in an opinion, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported. Schoenrock alleges that council members violated open meetings law by arranging votes for a budgeting policy outside a public meeting. His case rests on e-mail records. The judge could not determine ahead of time whether Schoenrock would be eligible for a reimbursement of attorneys fees should the case go to trial.
Unless the city of Yakima and a local attorney settle their dispute over an alleged violation of the state open-meetings law, they should prepare for a costly trial, a judge has ruled.

In an opinion issued Tuesday, Yakima County Superior Court Judge Blaine Gibson said he could not determine whether Tim Schoenrock deserves attorney fees for his work on the case without a closer look at whether members of the Yakima City Council violated the Open Public Meeting Act when they lined up support for a new budgeting policy last month.

A trial, Gibson wrote, would be risky and expensive for both sides. He urged the city and Schoenrock to settle the matter out of court.

More here.

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