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Council to look at RPS disclosure settlement

Mon., Oct. 2, 2006

Spokane City Council members today are expected to consider a $299,000 settlement with Tim Connor, Camas Magazine and its publishers for failure to disclose public documents related to a failed River Park Square parking garage deal in the 1990s.

The council rejected a $350,000 settlement offer in August but is now poised to approve the smaller settlement, in part because attorney costs have increased the potential loss to the city.

Council members will consider the settlement during its 6 p.m. legislative session in Council Chambers at City Hall.

In other business, Mayor Dennis Hession is expected to outline initial recommendations for the city’s 2007 budget.

The city was facing fines of up to $100 a day for withholding about 80 documents related to the city’s participation in financing expansion of the mall garage and public operation of it. Connor was initially denied his request for documents in 2000.

They were eventually released through separate lawsuits involving the deal.

Connor took the city to court for its failure to comply with his records request, and the state Supreme Court last year sided with him and sent the case back to Spokane County Superior Court to determine if the documents were withheld illegally and what damages the city should pay.

Connor already has won $113,000 from the city in a separate RPS records case.

The city in 2004 and 2005 settled most garage litigation by buying out garage bond investors and returning ownership to the mall owner, an affiliate of Cowles Co., which publishes The Spokesman-Review.

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