Judge: Liquor board broke open meetings law

SEATTLE — The Washington Liquor Control Board broke the state's open public meetings law 17 times as it began working on rules for the recreational marijuana industry, a judge ruled.

Thurston County Superior Court Judge Christine Schaller issued the ruling Friday in a case brought by Arthur West, a critic of the legal pot law. The judge said that although the board broke the law, it didn't take any actions at the meetings that would warrant throwing out the marijuana rules it eventually adopted.

The meetings at issue came in the first three months of 2013, soon after voters approved Initiative 502. As the three board members — Sharon Foster, Chris Marr and Ruthann Kurose — traveled around the state holding public hearings about the legal marijuana rules, they also sometimes met quietly with local police, officials and prevention groups. Continue>>>