August 20, 2007
Tom Carr's lame response to criticism

Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr, whose appointment by Mrs. Gregoire to chair a "Sunshine" committee has been roundly condemned by pretty much everybody who cares about open government, responds to an item critical of his appointment at the P-I blog. His response is astonishing for its ... dishonesty? incompetent fact-checking? You decide:

I am also very proud of the City of Seattle's record on public disclosure. Mayor Nickels is a strong advocate for open government and has sent a clear message to all city departments. ... [The Hangartner] case presented squarely a conflict between the Public Disclosure Act and another state law prohibiting attorneys' from disclosing confidential information. Most public lawyers believed as we did, that the attorney-client privilege, as codified in state law, prevented disclosure of confidential attorney-client communications. In fact, if you go to the Attorney General's Ombudsman's website, you will find an excellent guidance document on Hangartner. In a document dated December, 2004, which presumably was posted during Mr. Overstreet's tenure as ombudsman, the AG wrote: "[T]he Hangartner decision does not represent an expansion of public records exemptions as those exemptions have been understood by the Attorney General's Office.
Hangartner was not about whether attorneys should disclose privileged communication but whether an agency can claim privilege over any work product prepared for it by an attorney. That's very different. Also, in December 2004, Gregoire was still the Attorney General, so it's no surprise her office supported the Hangartner ruling after the fact, as her office had filed an amicus brief supporting Seattle's position. Overstreet did not join the the AG office until Rob McKenna entered office in January 2005.

Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at August 20, 2007 01:20 PM | Email This
Comments
1. Ah, you beat me to it, Stefan. I went over to the P-I, read the entry and posted before I read your entire post. Indeed Gregoire was still AG in December of 2004.

Posted by: jimg on August 20, 2007 01:56 PM
2. What's black and tan and looks good on a Lawyer...A Doberman

What do you call a Busload of Lawyers going over a cliff...A good start.

What else would you expected from a bunch of self-righteous, lying, hypocrite, B&** F@#&ing, C#@K S&!#@*ing LAWYERS.

Posted by: Plash on August 20, 2007 02:02 PM
3. I sent my email complaint to Gregoire to express my great disappointment about the lack of respect shown to the WA citizens with this appointment.

Posted by: Michele on August 20, 2007 04:26 PM
4. Heh, Plash, how about this one: If you laid all the lawyers end to end....you'd be better off just leaving them that way.

(with apologies to all the good, non-sleazy lawyers out there:-)

Posted by: Michele on August 20, 2007 05:10 PM
5. Hmmm... Any lawyer Michele approves of would be sleazy by definition :-)

Posted by: Tradescantia on August 20, 2007 06:03 PM
6. Gregoire's crony appointments aren't limited to Norm Dicks son, nor this non surprise move.

The child support work group which was created by the legislature had roughly 3X the number of custodial parents and non custodial parents sign up to partake. Apparently Gregoire is rejecting them and searching for "citizen" representatives of her taste. This leaked out on a forum that wasn't supposed to make it to washed masses. We found out purely by accident that this going on.

I mean why convene a committee if they aren't going to come up with the result you are looking for?

Is there anything happening on this watch that isn't complete corruption?

This is corruption

Posted by: Andy on August 20, 2007 08:36 PM
7. when i hear words like "sunshine" and "committee" i get scared;

words of a pasty, tubby bureaucracy; ready to "protect" us against lazy bums, crime, graffitti, waste, illegal aliens and terrorists--AFTER--of course--"studying" the problem(s) further; Lord help us.

humans--the only species that causes, via its electorate, its own demise.

Posted by: jimmie-howya-doin on August 20, 2007 09:14 PM
8. You know, it's just that 99-percent of lawyers who give the one-percent a bad name.

Posted by: Kent on August 21, 2007 07:05 AM
9. You know, it's just that 99-percent of lawyers who the one-percent a bad name.

Posted by: Kent on August 21, 2007 07:07 AM
10. A wise man once said "Like $h*! sticks".
So just how deep is her dungheap of potential appointees?

Posted by: PC on August 21, 2007 09:34 AM
11. What's not mentioned is that governments are NOT entities unto themselves. The exist to serve the people (in theory anyway)...so the attorney/client privilege exist not between the attorney and the government entity...but actually between the attorney and the citizens that the government entity is supposedly representing.

To claim this is not an expansion of public records exemption is a pure lie (from Gregoire's office...that's not surprising).

Common sense would dictate that there should be NO public records requests denied UNLESS it's a case of national security! There is absolutely no basis for attorney/client privilege when "we, the people" are the client!

Posted by: drw on August 21, 2007 11:39 AM
12. Another example of poor choices of committees is the long - term air transportation committee that was just selected. There are no representatives from the Seatac area.

Posted by: Stuart Jenner on August 21, 2007 01:32 PM
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