November 14, 2009 in Letters

Lawsuit was counterproductive

The Spokesman-Review
 

Mike Prager’s article (“Air agency settles suit,” Nov. 10) accurately summarized the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency (SRCAA) press release except for the crucial last paragraph that detailed the financial effect of this settlement. The lawsuit filed by Spokane’s Center for Justice in conjunction with Seattle’s opportunistic Allied Law Group addressed the violation by SRCAA in 2006 of the state’s open meeting law.

This incident was thoroughly investigated by the state auditor’s office two years ago and as a result the agency changed its bylaws and has held yearly workshops for the board of directors on this issue.

Thus there was clearly no need for this frivolous lawsuit two years after the violation and subsequent to the agency’s remediation measures.

What is of more concern is the economic effects of this settlement. The funds were taken from the Special Projects Fund. This fund’s purpose is to pay for special air quality improvement projects, such as air quality studies and education and outreach initiatives.

I fail to understand what the Center for Justice has achieved by their lawsuit and the settlement except to compromise SRCAA’s mission of preserving, enhancing and protecting local air quality.

Jeff Corkill, chairman,

board of directors, SRCAA

Spokane

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