Man files another public records lawsuit against Langley

A South Whidbey man has filed another lawsuit against the city of Langley, claiming a violation of the state’s Public Records Act.

Eric Hood, acting as his own attorney, filed the complaint in Island County Superior Court Oct. 9. He has another public records lawsuit against the city that is unresolved after a summary judgment was reversed by the state Court of Appeals earlier this year.

Court records show that Hood has filed public records lawsuits against government bodies across the state for years. So far this year, he’s filed lawsuits against the Ocean Beach School District, the Town of Springdale, the Port of Dewatto, the city of Cosmopolis, Clark College, the Walla Walla Housing Authority and the state Department of Employment Security.

In the new lawsuit against Langley, Hood’s complaint states that he requested records related to the city’s decision to terminate Dave Marks, the former police chief, in July of 2018.

The city responded at the end of August with 17 pdf files containing 320 pages of documents and an Excel file. The city did not provide a exemption log, which is required when documents are withheld and redacted.

Hood claims that the city failed to perform a reasonable search, failed to produce all responsive records and redacted nonexempt information from records.

Hood asks for the reward of statutory penalties in a per diem amount for each day the requested records were withheld.

In a 2016 lawsuit, Hood claimed that Langley officials improperly withheld documents responsive to his broad request for documents related to a former mayor. A superior court judge granted a summary judgment dismissing the lawsuit, but Hood appealed.

The appellate court found that these were unresolved issues of fact and reversed the summary judgment, sending the case back to superior court.

Langley Mayor Tim Callison declined to comment.

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