Douglas Moore: Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week

Sometimes, when we award the prestigious and increasingly coveted Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week award, we have to write long-ish articles explaining what happened.

Not this week.

The Washington state Department of Corrections has settled a lawsuit filed by this week’s hero, Douglas Moore, for $65,000.

That counts as sunshine troublemaking, even though I haven’t found a quote from the DOC complaining about Moore–the usual criteria for an STOTW.  He’s probably not their favorite person.

Douglas Moore is a resident of Tacoma, Washington He wanted the records in order to figure out whether part-time and intermittent DOC employees received health care benefits. Moore works for another state agency, the Horse Racing Commision, as a race steward. The tracks are closed three months of the year, so he doesn’t work then. Nor does he get health benefits. Moore wanted to know whether that is how health benefits are treated for part-time employees in other state agencies.  Good thinking.    

See also DOC will pay $65,000 in open records case.

Moore’s attorney Stephen Festor said:

“I think it’s very significant because it sends a message to agencies not to withhold electronic records. … Without the disclosure of electronic records, the public records act is meaningless.”

It has not been a good year for the Washington Department of Corrections as far as open records are concerned.

Earlier this year, it agreed to pay $541,000 to Prison Legal News for withholdling public records seven years ago. Prison Legal News wanted records about the employment backgrounds of 14 prison medical workers who were involved in treating 10 inmates who died or suffered injuries.

See also Og-Blog.

Douglas, congratulations. You horse-racing people are racking up this year’s best record as STOTWs.

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