On Aug. 27, the Washington Supreme Court ordered Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist to release the text messages on his private phone that are public records. The court expected an elected prosecutor would obey its order. It did not set a date for compliance with its order.
Lindquist and the county don’t contend that the order is invalid and unenforceable. He has simply disregarded the order. Sanctions against the county for noncompliance with the public record request increase daily.
Lindquist’s retention of the records does not alter the requirement that he produce the texts or provide a declaration as to why certain texts should not be produced. If his delay continues, a court must set a deadline for his compliance. If he ignores the deadline, then he should be found in contempt of court.
He may then purge himself of contempt by compliance or be jailed until he does comply. Just as he would hold the average citizen accountable for his actions, the public and the courts should hold Lindquist accountable for his.
(Cain, a Tacoma attorney, is one of three people who have filed a complaint against Lindquist accusing him of trying to improperly influence a judge.)