Civics: Open Records in King County, Washington

Daniel Beekman:

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has asked Sheriff Patti Cole-Tindall to put together an investigation into the deletion of text messages from the phones of then-Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and other city leaders in 2020.

“It wasn’t clear to me that anyone was going to start this investigation without prompting,” Satterberg said Thursday in an emailed statement. “Just like the public’s right to an open courtroom, people have a right to know what is in public documents — including text messages.”

Satterberg’s office requested the investigation July 28, spokesperson Casey McNerthney said.

“We are in the early stages of reviewing the matter,” said Cole-Tindall spokesperson Cynthia Sampson, giving no other information.

Last year, a whistleblower in Durkan’s office revealed that the mayor’s texts from a 10-month period — including tumultuous weeks in early summer 2020 when police deployed tear gas against Black Lives Matter protest crowds and vacated the East Precinct — were missing.

2020 events in Madison.