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Pasco Resident Says City Withheld Public Records to Protect Leaders

Lawsuit over emails filed against City of Pasco
(Townsquare media image)

A resident of Pasco’s “doughnut hole” filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General against a pair of Pasco City Council members because the city refused to disclose, or improperly exempted, emails sent or received by the two because they improperly used the Pasco city accounts.

Roger Lenk requested to see the email accounts of all four city council members who voted in favor of the “doughnut hole” annexation in 2012. But the city refused, or withheld, emails from Councilman Saul Martinez and Mayor Pro-tem Rebecca Francik because, it turns out, Martinez and Francik used the accounts for private use.

Email records officially kept by the city are no different than other public records. This is no different than a citizen requesting to see blueprints fort a new city project, or financial records from a branch of city government.

Citizens, journalists, and other groups often use the Freedom of Information Act to request documents. Local governments are obligated to provide public documents of city business and operations — including city email accounts.

The State Attorney General’s office has indicated they have received Lenk’s complaint and will respond.

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