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Part of Donut Hole Lawsuit Against Pasco Dismissed

Donut Hole resident fighting city hall
(Townsquare media image)

A Superior Court Judge has sided, partially, with the City of Pasco.

Judge Sal Mendoza Wednesday struck down part of a lawsuit filed by Pasco resident Roger Lenk, who sued the city, seeking the email records of council members who voted in favor of annexing the West Pasco Donut Hole, or unincorporated area.

The judge ruled the city had properly responded to Lenk’s requests for the city email account records of Council members Saul Martinez and Rebecca Francik.   He also disagreed with Lenk’s claim there were other emails that had been destroyed or Pasco had failed to locate.

Judge Mendoza also ruled the city does not have to make an early release of what is called “metadata”   or information about every single computer transaction or email action on the city accounts.   It is scheduled for release in February 2016.   Lenk is also leading the movement towards changing the City of Pasco governmental structure from a City Manager one to a mayoral one.  There are two ballot provisions coming in November that would change the governmental structure, and the other would overturn the two annexations that have occurred already in the Donut Hole.

So far the city says it has provided 120,000 pages of documents to Lenk, and has spent over $160,000 in working on his requests, including $120,000 in legal fees. According to sources, Lenk still is waiting for a response on email requests from the city public email records of Mayor Matt Watkins, City Manager Gary Crutchfield, and Fire Chief Bob Gear.

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