Olympia City Council candidate Judy Bardin's explanation for her refusal to comply with the Public Records Act and requests for information from the city attorney is faulty.
The law requires the city attorney to examine in confidence disputed records to determine if in fact they are exempt for "attorney-client privilege," which Bardin first invoked, or because they are "personal," Bardin’s subsequent description. If found to be personal or attorney-client privileged, the documents would not be disclosed and would be returned to her. End of story.
Bardin's explanation shows a deep mistrust of the city attorney's trustworthiness to perform his role as legal adviser to city advisory committees and council; if she were elected, this mistrust would make policy-making problematic for her, her colleagues and the city.
Bardin also shows a shallow understanding of the city's communications to her surrounding her refusal to follow records procedure. Bardin’s response diminishes the importance of her obligation to release eligible documents to the public.
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Contrary to Bardin’s claim, the city attorney never “accepted her explanation” for exemption of the records. Make your own records request so you can read the correspondence if you are in doubt. You will find that Bardin destroyed the requested records rather than release them to the attorney for scrutiny and then refused to sign a declaration stating that she had destroyed the records.
Again, Judy Bardin's muddled and evasive response is evidence that she is not qualified to serve as our City Council member.