TACOMA — A Thurston County judge says a text message written by Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is a public record, despite his claims to the contrary.
The News Tribune reports that Superior Court Judge Gary Tabor made his ruling on Tuesday in a case filed by sheriff’s deputy Glenda Nissen. She has sought access to the record for more than four years.
Nissen had believed Lindquist retaliated against her for her political criticism.
The judge’s ruling exposes the county to potential fines for withholding the record. Taxpayers have paid $325,000 to outside attorneys defending Lindquist’s position. A related request by Nissen seeks a slightly larger batch of text messages from the same period.
When asked for a comment, Lindquist says we can have open government and still respect constitutional privacy rights.
Nissen’s lawyer called the ruling an important decision that protects the people of Pierce county.