YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A county in southern Washington state has settled a lawsuit for $13,000 that alleged Yakima County Commissioners violated the state’s open public meetings law in 2018.
Yakima-based attorney and small businessperson Liz Hallock filed a lawsuit claiming City Council and its commissioners violated state law when they attended a Chamber of Commerce luncheon on July 11, 2018, The Yakima Herald-Republic reported.
During the lunch, commissioners made presentations and provided updates on government business and responded to questions from a facilitator. Tickets for the event were $30.
Yakima County acknowledged that those unable or unwilling to purchase a ticket were not able to attend the event, officials said. The settlement also acknowledged that a quorum of elected commissioners who spoke at the event, not noticed as a public meeting, posed a gray area under state law.
The agreement notes all future events will be advertised as public meetings when a quorum of commissioners speak, and that community members will be able to attend without purchasing tickets.