Yakima City Council must pay over $1 million to the ACLU - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council must pay over $1 million to the ACLU

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YAKIMA, WA - Yesterday the council rejoiced as they unanimously decided to drop the ACLU's voting lawsuit appeal, but that decision had a price tag of over $1.8 million in fees and costs to the ACLU. 

The ACLU's lawsuit goes all the way back to 2012 when the City of Yakima was sued because its districts were drawn by number of eligible voters as opposed to number of total voters. A US District Court ordered the city to change to a district based council system in 2014, and yesterday that change was made permanent and left the city with a large sum of money to pay.

Randy Beehler, Communications Director for the City of Yakima said the city will be paying for the settlement through their risk management fund.

"it is essentially a savings account that we use to pay for costs, unexpected costs like this," said Beehler. 

Beehler adds that the risk management fund is used to pay for things like damage claims and litigation settlements. The city will not have to pay any interest that has accumulated for the more than $1.8 million. $100,000 of the settlement will be donated back to the city. Beehler said that the money will be used to promote equity, equal opportunity and fair treatment.

At this point the exact use of the money has not been decided. The city is currently working with the ACLU on how the settlement will be paid.