Politics & Government

Puyallup forum to focus on public officials’ cellphone records

The laws regarding disclosure of records created when government officials use their personal cellphones to do public business will be the subject of a forum Wednesday at Pierce College in Puyallup.

Pierce County League of Women Voters, the Associated Students of Pierce College Puyallup and the Washington Coalition for Open Government are organizing the forum, which will include a panel discussion and opportunities for audience questions.

The panelists will include Toby Nixon, Kirkland City Council member and president of the coalition; Walter Neary, former Lakewood City Council member; Jim Doherty of the Municipal Research Services Center; and Kevin Yamamoto, Puyallup city attorney. Moderators will be former State Auditor Brian Sonntag and Lyz Kurnitz-Thurlow of the Pierce County League.

The event comes in the wake of a Court of Appeals decision in which the court ruled that call records and text messages from Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist’s personal mobile phone aren’t private if they’re related to public business. County attorneys and Lindquist argued that allowing unfettered access to his private phone records violated his constitutional right to privacy.

The forum begins at 6:30 p.m. in Room 102 of the College Center Building at Pierce College, 1601 39th Ave. SE.