(JARED ARNOLD/Chewelah Independent)
Two inmates serving time at the Airway Heights Corrections Center have sued the City of Chewelah in Adams County Superior Court for allegedly violating the state’s Public Records Act, according to documents obtained last week by The Independent.
Michael S. Perry and Dustin G. Abrams filed their suit in March after requesting records related to a 2016 case investigated by the Chewelah Police Department. In their complaint, Perry and Abrams claim that the city acted in bad faith and failed to do an adequate search to locate all of the requested records; the city failed to provide “over 115 e-mails” related to the records request until Perry “had to ferret them out through subsequent public records requests,” the city failed to adequately explain why certain items were exempt from disclosure; the city continues to withhold records; and the city has failed to properly respond to four of Abrams’ records requests.
Perry and Abrams have asked the court for statutory penalties, other costs and any relief that the court deems proper. The law allows for penalties up to $100 per day that a requestor is denied access to records.
Through its attorney, Michael Waters, the city has denied any wrongdoing and has asked the court to dismiss the case based on the fact that it was filed in Adams County rather than Stevens County.
The court is scheduled to consider the city’s motion for dismissal on Monday, June 3, in Ritzville.