All Politics is Local

Cowlitz judge dismisses Madore from suit

A Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge has dismissed Clark County Councilor David Madore from a public records gadfly’s lawsuit.

A judge on Monday dismissed Olympia resident Arthur West’s suit against Madore, court records show. West sued Clark County and Madore in August alleging the county “silently and unreasonably withheld records” from Madore’s controversial Facebook page.

West filed a public records request with Clark County on July 25, asking for public records concerning Clark County business from Madore’s Facebook page. The county did not provide records after Madore signed an affidavit saying there are no public records on his Facebook account.

But the judge dismissing Madore doesn’t put Clark County out of the woods. The county is still party to the lawsuit, deputy prosecutor Bill Richardson said.

That’s more typical in these types of suits. Take, for example, Nissen v. Pierce County, in which the Washington Supreme Court held that texts sent or received by a public employee related to the conduct of business are public records, even if they’re on a personal cell phone.

Even though that case was related to texts by Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist, the county was ultimately the responsible party, not Lindquist.

“I agreed to dismiss Madore because he is not technically a necessary party unless he wants to be,” West said. “The case against the county is still on.”

Kaitlin Gillespie

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at kaitlin.gillespie@columbian.com or 360-735-4517.