Monroe pays $157,000 for open-records case

The City of Monroe has paid more than $157,000 to settle an open records lawsuit with an activist.

The Daily Herald of Everett reports the city paid the money last week to Meredith Mechling, who was trying to determine whether council members had conducted a debate by e-mail rather than in public session.

The city turned over some of the dozens of documents she requested but redacted certain information, including personal e-mail addresses of council members, and withheld other entire documents under a claim of attorney-client privilege.

Mechling sued in 2006. Last year, the state court of appeals sided with her unanimously. Mayor Robert Zimmerman said the city now has two employees who deal with such requests. They’ve received more training, city administrator Gene Brazel said.