According to a report released Monday evening by the Seattle Times, the SPD admitted to violating the Public Records Act by withholding an internal SPD report about the department’s response to the violent May Day 2012 from the Seattle times.
The embattled police department has agreed to pay $20,000 to the paper and its lawyers to avoid a lawsuit.
According to the Times, the department admitted it failed to disclose an internal review of the May Day response in a timely manner, claiming the report could be withheld through a “deliberate process exemption.” Retired Police Chief John Diaz ordered the information withheld from the Times pending the release of an interdepartmental review, violating public disclosure law.
The review highlighted — among other things — the interference in operational decisions by Assistant Chief Mike Sanford. It was deemed to be critical of the police department.
The Times’ Executive Editor David Boardman said the paper decided to challenge SPD withholding the information after editors decided such a disregard for public disclosure laws merited litigation.