Government Accountability

Smith & Lowney uses federal and state laws to hold governments accountable. We work to assure that government processes remain transparent, free from conflicts of interest, and that public documents remain open to public review. 

The following are representative cases:

Permanently Offended v. Office of the Code Reviser
Successfully sued the Washington State Code Reviser for refusing to disclose legal advice provided to Tim Eyman regarding one of his initiative proposals. Lawsuit established that such records are subject to public disclosure. State paid attorneys’ fees, costs and civil penalties. 

Friends of Grays Harbor v. City of Westport, et al.
Obtained reversal of a critical permit decision after we proved that the city had violated the appearance of fairness doctrine. We established that one of the decision-makers would potentially profit from the permitted project because he owned an adjacent gas station and convenience store. 

Center for Environmental Law & Policy v. Washington State Department of Ecology
Successfully represented CELP in this Public Disclosure Act suit for Ecology’s repeated failures to provide public documents, hampering celp’s ability to carry out its mission of protecting Washington's water resources. Ecology ultimately admitted to fourteen violations of the act, agreeing to pay attorneys’ fees, and civil penalties. 

Greg Wingard v. Washington State Department of Ecology
Sued the Washington Department of Ecology under the Public Disclosure Act for refusing to produce several requested documents. Faced with state court litigation, Ecology promptly disclosed the requested documents, and paid Mr. Wingard a civil penalty and attorney’s fees. 

» For more information or to request a case evaluation, click here.