We’d like to introduce you to David Koenig, our 22nd Sunshine Troublemaker of the Week. Mr. Koenig lives in Federal Way, Washington. All of our STOTWs are wonderful, and Mr. Koenig is a deserving peer.
The headline that attracted our eye? Federal Way man has won thousands in public records lawsuits.
All these settlements relate to underlying violations of Washington’s open records law.
Our regular readers won’t be surprised to learn that the cities who paid David Koenig for their errors and violations are pretty much still under the impression that their errors and violations were innocent and that Mr. Koenig is a pest.
Heidi Wachter, the city attorney for Lakewood, told a reporter for the News Tribune in Tacoma that she didn’t ignore Mr. Koenig’s record but made an error by denying him some of what he had requested.
Why do city officials so often think they have followed the open records law when they hand over a few documents and illegally or erroneously deny the rest? The fact that they properly gave him a few records does not let them off the hook for refusing to give him public records to which he was legally entitled. Alluding to the records they did give him is a childish excuse and a mistake for which the city’s taxpayers–not Attorney Wachter–must now pay.
My hero, Mr. Koenig, says:
“To me, they were lying or didn’t have enough brains to walk upright.”.
Lakewood is now planning to sue Mr. Koenig allegedly to find out whether the city is properly responding to his requests.
My answer: No, you’re not. That’s why a court just ordered you to pay him $40,000.
Mr. Koenig’s attorney’s answer: ““These people should stop worrying about David Koenig and get their house in order.”
We luv ya, Mr. Koenig. Keep up the great work.