Mark Lindquist already lost in his attempt to keep his work-related text messages hidden from the public. Today the judge for the case decided on the additional penalties and fines that will be imposed – costs that the taxpayers will have to cover, not Mark Lindquist. You’re footing the bill for his attempt to prevent you from seeing how he conducts himself as Prosecutor.
The judge assessed $165,961 in penalties for violating the Public Records Act and $178,000 in attorney’s fees for the plaintiff. That means, the News Tribune reports, “the county has spent more than $1 million to defend the text message case, including $510,829 paid to outside attorneys and a prior $128,000 payout to [the plaintiff] for nondisclosure of another text message.”
Lindquist, as usual, wasn’t present in the courtroom. Mary Robnett issued a press statement after the judge’s ruling:
“Today’s ruling brings an end to a completely unnecessary drama. That this case happened in the first place, and lasted this long, stems entirely from arrogance and bad decisions by Mark Lindquist.
“Unfortunately, it’s the taxpayers who will pay the costs for Mr. Lindquist’s arrogance. When the final attorney bills come in, this will be a million dollar case, and for what? To hide some text messages Lindquist himself called ‘trivial.’ But they weren’t trivial – they may prove the claims of retaliation made against him.
“The key part of today’s ruling is that Mark Lindquist did not comply with the Public Records Act. The people have a right to know how their public servants are conducting themselves in office. Mr. Lindquist has shown contempt for the people’s right to oversee his work.
“That’s why the judge questioned Lindquist’s incomplete affidavits and noted his defiance. In an answer to the judge today, Mr. Lindquist’s attorney said, ‘He reports to the voters.’ On that, at least, he was right.”