BELLEVUE, WA — The Second Amendment Foundation has accepted a $38,000 settlement from the City of Seattle for the city’s failure to release public records about the city’s gun buyback in January.
As part of the agreement, the city has acknowledged that it did not promptly or properly provide all of the documents sought by SAF under the Public Records Act. SAF was represented by Bellevue attorney Miko Tempski.
“It is a shame that this had to drag out so long,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, “but the important thing is that the city, and outgoing Mayor Mike McGinn’s office has been held accountable for sloppy handling of our request. One would have thought the city had learned something earlier this year when the police department had to pay the Seattle Times $20,000, for also not providing requested documents.
“Maybe the citizens of Seattle can consider this a Christmas gift from the departing mayor,” he remarked. “This would not have been necessary had McGinn’s office done its job.”
SAF had pursued e-mails and other documents related to the January buyback, which was conducted in a parking lot underneath I-5 in downtown Seattle. The operation was something of an embarrassment that even Washington Ceasefire President Ralph Fascitelli had advised against, the recovered e-mails revealed.
Earlier the city had supplied some of the requested documents, but a story in the Seattle P-I.com revealed there were other materials that had not been provided to SAF by Mayor McGinn’s office.
“It seems hard to conceive,” Tempski said, “how you could accidentally overlook hundreds of documents and how that could be unintentional.”
“The settlement,” said Gottlieb, “will help SAF continue its legal work. Hopefully, we will see better performance from a new city administration in January.”