City Attorney's tracking of legal defense of police officers

Phil Mocek filed this request with the Seattle City Attorney of Seattle, WA.
Tracking # 13-112
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Phil Mocek

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

Lists or spreadsheets compiling and detailing lawsuits in which the City of Seattle defended Seattle Police Department staff, including resolution of suits, time and money dedicated to those defenses, etc. I spoke with Matt Yaegar about this via telephone on August 20, 2013.

I also request that, if appropriate, fees be waived as I believe this request is in the public interest. The requested documents will be made available to the general public free of charge as part of the public information service at MuckRock.com, processed by a representative of the news media/press and is made in the process of news gathering and not for commercial usage.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Phil Mocek

From: Phil Mocek

RE: my public records request of September 25, 2013

Dear Sir or Madam:

I hereby amend my request to include records with information about claims and notices of claim targeting SPD staff regardless of whether suit was filed, as well as amounts pad in related settlements or verdicts.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Dear Mr. Mocek,

Please see the attached letter.

Best regards,

Matt

From: Phil Mocek

RE: my public records request of September 25, 2013

Dear Sir or Madam:

I am in receipt of Matthew C. Jaeger's letter of October 2, 2013 (printed, scanned, and delivered via e-mail attachment). Please note that my request also includes records with information about claims and notices of claim targeting SPD staff regardless of whether suit was filed, as well as amounts pad in related settlements or verdicts. My initial contact on September 25 described a set of records a bit more narrow, related only to lawsuits, but I followed up via e-mail within hours, amending the request to include the aforementioned.

Thank you for your continued assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Good morning Mr. Mocek.

We will be sure to expand the scope based on below. Our estimate for an installment or status update remains the same as in yesterday's letter.

From: Phil Mocek

Matthew:

Got it. Thanks. Also, I'm reasonably familiar with the PRA and handy with a computer, so I have no flawed expectation of custom-creation of records and I'm likely able to handle whatever electronic records you might send my way.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Right on.

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Good morning Mr. Mocek,

I want to touch base with you about your records request.

I propose to collect data for police action cases opened since January 1, 2011 and through the present. Please let me know if you have an alternate suggestion or if this is not satisfactory.

As always, I am happy to discuss. My number here is (206) 684-8242. Thank for your time.

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Good morning Mr. Mocek,

I want to touch base with you about your records request.

I propose to collect data for police action cases opened since January 1, 2011 and through the present. Please let me know if you have an alternate suggestion or if this is not satisfactory.

As always, I am happy to discuss. My number here is (206) 684-8242. Thank for your time.

From: Phil Mocek

RE: my public records request of September 25, 2013

Dear Mr. Jaeger:

I received your e-mail of October 17. In it, you proposed significantly limiting the scope of my request. I do not accept your proposal to limit records to police action cases opened since January of 2011. I do not know what "police action case" means. You, not I, introduced that language. I am interested in the history of legal action in Seattle City Attorney's Office arising from situations involving Seattle Police Department staff. What you proposed would surely encompass only a tiny faction of that history.

If there is some significant cutoff date before which accessing applicable records is particularly arduous (e.g., the past ten years of responsive records are kept on-site, and earlier ones are archived off in a mountain somewhere, etc.), then please let me know and maybe we can agree on some kind of installment arrangement.

I intend to research Seattle's history of expending the people's shared resources dealing with abusive police officers. I would expect the City Attorney's office to track with great precision such resource allocation, and I am anxious to have a look at those tracking records. We, the people, know that such defense and other legal work resulting from bad cops happens. We read about it in the news, and the U.S. Department of Justice reported on it. We deserve to know just how much it happens and whether it happens more with some officers than with others. This would help us determine what, if any, action is taken in response to the City's knowledge of those serial abusers who are not only harming people but wasting our money and your and your colleagues' time.

I reiterate my request for all lists or spreadsheets compiling and detailing lawsuits, claims, and notices of claim---regardless of whether or not claim or suit was filed---arising from words, actions, alleged words, and alleged actions, of Seattle Police Department staff, including resolution of those matters and time and money allocated to and/or expended on them.

When you and I spoke on the phone during the phone call I initiated on August 20, it seemed that this was a simple matter. I expected that you would be e-mailing me several spreadsheets within a few days of my placing a formal request as you suggested on the phone that I do. I placed that request almost a month ago. As I wrote to you via e-mail on October 3, I know the Public Records Act does not require you to create records for me, and I am prepared to handle just about any kind of electronic record you send my way.

Thank you for your continued assistance.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

No problem, Mr. Mocek,

I was just floating an idea your way. I appreciate your feedback and will continue plugging away on your request.

Thank you for getting back to me.

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Dear Mr. Mocek,

Please see the attached.

Best regards,

Matt

From: Phil Mocek

RE: my public records request of September 25, 2013

Dear Mr. Jaeger:

I received your e-mail of October 23 with the following files attached:

* Mocek_2013.10.23_-_1st.docx.pdf
* Kroll__Police_Action-Settlement2005-2011_FINAL.xls
* Kroll._Police_Action-Settlement2005-2011.FINAL.xls
* Kroll__Police_Action-Settlement2005-2011_FINAL.xlsx
* Kroll__Police_Action-Settlement2005-2012_FINAL.xlsx
* Police_Action_1998_thru_August_8_2013.xlsx
* Police_Action_1998_thru_Mar_312013.xlsx
* Police_Action_-_Closed_in_2012.xlsx

Thank you very much for proactively providing these in installments instead of waiting until all responsive records were identified before sending any of them. That's helpful.

Cordially,
Phil Mocek

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on Sept. 25, 2013. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed. You had assigned it reference number #13-112.

Thank you for your help.

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Good morning Mr. Mocek,

We estimated that the next installment will be to you by November 20, 2013.

At this point, I do not need any clarification. I appreciate the offer and may touch base with you in the future.
Best regards,

Matt

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Dear Mr. Mocek,

Please see the attached.

Best regards,

Matt

[cid:image001.jpg@01CEE5D6.9BFE9D40]

Matthew C. Jaeger
Public Disclosure Officer
Government Affairs Section

Seattle City Attorney's Office
600 4th Avenue, 4th floor
P.O. Box 94769
Seattle, WA 98124-4769
Phone: 206-684-8242
matthew.jaeger@seattle.gov<mailto:matthew.jaeger@seattle.gov>

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT: This message may contain information that is protected by the attorney-client privilege, the attorney work product doctrine, or by other confidentiality provisions. If this message was sent to you in error, any use, disclosure, or distribution of its contents is prohibited. If you receive this message in error, please contact me at the telephone number or e-mail address listed above and delete this message without printing, copying, or forwarding it. Thank you.

From: Jaeger, Matthew C

Dear Mr. Mocek,

Please see the attached.

Best regards,

Matt

[cid:image001.jpg@01CEF289.12A297D0]

Matthew C. Jaeger
Public Disclosure Officer
Government Affairs Section

Seattle City Attorney's Office
600 4th Avenue, 4th floor
P.O. Box 94769
Seattle, WA 98124-4769
Phone: 206-684-8242
matthew.jaeger@seattle.gov<mailto:matthew.jaeger@seattle.gov>

CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT: This message may contain information that is protected by the attorney-client privilege, the attorney work product doctrine, or by other confidentiality provisions. If this message was sent to you in error, any use, disclosure, or distribution of its contents is prohibited. If you receive this message in error, please contact me at the telephone number or e-mail address listed above and delete this message without printing, copying, or forwarding it. Thank you.

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