Open-government activist sues Pierce County for ‘clandestine’ decision-making against citizen referendum

An open-government champion has sued the Pierce County Council for allegedly violating the state open public meetings law — another twist in the saga over the county’s controversial plan to build a $127 million government headquarters in Tacoma’s South End.

Arthur West of Olympia alleges that council members participated in a series of improper private communications with the county prosecutor’s office before the prosecutor filed a Feb. 28 lawsuit. In the lawsuit in question, the county sued in Pierce County Superior Court to block Gig Harbor resident Jerry Gibbs from moving forward with a ballot referendum to halt the building project.

West filed a complaint in Thurston County Superior Court last week accusing six of the seven County Council members of public meetings violations. But he reserved his harshest criticism for Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, who West says “deliberately facilitated a series of serial ‘meetings’ through which a quorum of the Council took action.” Continue>>>