Burnett lawsuit fizzles with deadline end

A 45-day deadline has passed for Oak Harbor resident Bill Burnett, who filed a lawsuit in July against Island County over the appointment of Commissioner Jill Johnson as chairwoman of the board.

According to a letter from Chief Civil Deputy Dan Mitchell, Burnett had 45 days to prepare documents and file an appellant brief to accompany his lawsuit.

Mitchell said Monday there was no further action since the letter was sent to Burnett outlining his required next steps.

Burnett could not be reached for comment.

It’s unclear as to whether or not he can proceed with the case given that the deadline has passed.

Burnett, who is currently an Oak Harbor School Board candidate, filed his lawsuit July 25 in Island County Superior Court asking a judge to compel the board to reinstate Commissioner Kelly Emerson as chairwoman.

Emerson, of Camano, was removed from the leadership role July 10 by her fellow commissioners after Emerson defied the consensus of the board.

Burnett, acting as his own attorney, filed the “complaint for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief” against the board, as well as commissioners Helen Price Johnson, of Clinton, and Jill Johnson, of Oak Harbor.


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