Wapato agrees to $130,000 in payouts for records requests

WAPATO, Wash. (AP) — The city of Wapato will pay $130,000 to three people who say the city violated the state’s Public Records Act by failing to provide documents they requested.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that in a summary judgments issued Jan. 18 and Jan. 28, the city agreed to pay Luz Aguirre $20,000, Yakima attorney Trent Wilkinson $30,000 and former Wapato Police Chief Dave Simmons $80,000.

In offering the payments, the city did not admit liability, but said it was done “solely for the purpose of compromising a disputed claim,” according to court documents.

The city says it has taken steps to correct some of the issues, such as hiring a new clerk/treasurer and a public records officer as well as providing staff training in public-records law — moves he claimed would protect the city from further lawsuits.