Public Disclosure Commission Asked to Investigate Release of Private Records to ST3 Campaign Staff

A Sound Transit Bus which has seen better days.

A Sound Transit Bus which has seen better days.

 

On August 19, 2017 the Seattle Times reported that Sound Transit negligently disclosed personal contact information for 173,000 ORCA pass holders to “Mass Transit Now,” the campaign arm of Transportation Choices Coalition. Mass Transit Now is running the campaign for Sound Transit’s $54 Billion ballot measure this fall. This was a violation of State laws. Since this was a mishandling of private information that was not subject to public disclosure and was also used for campaign purposes, a Pierce County citizen filed a formal complaint with the State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC).  In his letter to the PDC he writes, “Sound Transit violated RCW 42.17A.555 by illegally releasing an exempt list of contact information to the campaign committee, Mass Transit Now, in violation of the Public Records Act. In addition to the PDC complaint, the Attorney Generals’ office and the King County Prosecutors office will be notified as well.”

 

Yesterday, People for Smarter Transit—NoST3, submitted an official letter in support of the PDC staff’s quick assignment of that complaint for review and in support of the formal complaint. The PDC is processing the complaint and will issue their findings in a letter to the Commission 45 days from the date of the filing. 

 

Yesterday at a Sound Transit Board meeting their CEO, Peter Rogoff apologized to the Board for this breech. He continued to refer to this action as a mistake.”

 

“They have a team of people within their legal department who are solely responsible for answering records requests. “If this was not intentional it was incompetent,” said Toby Nixon, President of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.

 

People for Smarter Transit: we are a bipartisan, pro transit non-profit group of volunteers from around the region who care about transit & good government. http://www.nost3.org