Category Archives: legal

Mayoral succession is complicated, and politically risky

Last Week, Council President Harrell sent a memo to his Council colleagues clarifying the process that would follow if Mayor Ed Murray were to step down before the end of his term, as several people have called on him to do. Or at least clarifying parts of it, because the path leads into uncharted territory.

Continue reading Mayoral succession is complicated, and politically risky

State Supreme Court says Landmarks Preservation Ordinance applies to UW campus

In a unanimous opinion released this morning, the State Supreme Court ruled that the City of Seattle’s Landmarks Preservation Ordinance applies to UW campus — a major blow to UW’s efforts to assert its independence over what happens on its campus.

Continue reading State Supreme Court says Landmarks Preservation Ordinance applies to UW campus

Police accountability legislation gets stuck in the mud, thanks to the police officers’ union

“We had hoped that today would be the final thumbs up from Judge Robart to allow us to continue to move forward with the implementation of the accountability legislation,” said Council member Lorena Gonzalez this afternoon in a hastily-arranged press conference. “And obviously we did not get that final approval.”

A hearing that began this morning with U.S. District Court Judge James Robart kindly joking with Gonzalez, Council member Tim Burgess, and SPD Deputy Chief Carmen Best quickly turned into an opportunity for all parties — and especially the judge himself — to vent their frustrations.

Continue reading Police accountability legislation gets stuck in the mud, thanks to the police officers’ union

Amid new evidence in old case, Gonzalez calls on Mayor to resign (UPDATED)

(Updated 9:00pm Monday — scroll down to the bottom for the latest)

Just when you thought the thirty-year-old allegations of sexual abuse against Mayor Ed Murray were finally fading away, the Seattle Times published some new evidence over the weekend: a long-lost Oregon Child Protective Services file in which a services worker discusses the allegations that Murray sexually abused his foster child, Jeff Simpson, and finds them credible.

In response, Council member Lorena Gonzalez issued a statement this morning calling on the Mayor to consider resigning, and if he doesn’t take action by next Monday asking her fellow Council members to consider their options to remove him from office.

Continue reading Amid new evidence in old case, Gonzalez calls on Mayor to resign (UPDATED)

Here’s why the city pension fund won’t divest from fossil fuels

This morning, the usually sleepy Seattle City Employees Retirement System (SCERS) board meeting had its moment in the spotlight, as a large number of activists and a handful of local politicians showed up to urge the board to divest the city’s pension fund from fossil fuel companies.

It was a thoughtful, respectful, and long conversation. A lot of listening happened, and much appreciation was extended in both directions for the depth of thought and energy that went into analysis and remarks. It was exactly the kind of conversation you wish every activists-meet-government conversation could be.

But at the end of the day, the city won’t divest out of fossil fuels anytime soon. Here’s why.

Continue reading Here’s why the city pension fund won’t divest from fossil fuels