Two lawsuits filed against Yakima County commissioners - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two lawsuits filed against Yakima County commissioners

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YAKIMA, WA - Two lawsuits have been filed against the Yakima county commissioners by Yakima County Clerk, Janelle Riddle and her attorney, Joseph Thomas.  Last week Riddle and Thomas filed a lawsuit against the Yakima county commissioners over meetings they say were concealed from them and the public.

"There are no minutes, there are no agendas, there are no records of any votes and state law clearly says that there needs to be records about these sorts of meetings," said Thomas. 

The meetings in question took place on Mondays at nine before regularly scheduled meetings at 10. Thomas said the commissioners violated the Open Public Meetings Act because they did notify them of these meetings where riddle was being discussed and her employee access was suspended. 

"I am not sure why they did not notify us," said Thomas. "Out of fairness it would seem like they should have notified clerk Riddle in order to hear from her side of the story before they issued any sanction." 

Riddles employee access was suspended earlier this month when she accessed her office during non business hours after the commissioners told her she could not. 

"It was my understanding that I was supposed to make the commissioners aware of the fact," said Riddle. "I did not realize that I need to ask and get the permission to do so. I did not access any county information that day."

KNDO reached out to Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Don Anderson for comment and he stated that Riddles lawsuit is baseless and that Yakima County will not try the lawsuit in the media. Thomas said that he has reached out to the commissioners and prosecuting attorneys and tried to establish an open line of communication with them but says that they will not speak to him. 

"If we could just sit down and talk, a lot of this could be solved and tax payers money would not even be involved," said Thomas. 

The second lawsuit against the commissioners was filled today for withholding information about the meetings that were scheduled on Monday mornings.