This afternoon Judge James Robart held a status conference with the parties in the consent decree between the city and the Department of Justice over police misconduct. The issue at hand: now that the city has negotiated a new police contract, how and when to put that in front of Robart for his blessing.
At the beginning of 2018 the City of Seattle commissioned a study to look at the feasibility of creating a municipal bank. Those study results were released yesterday. It says that in theory the city could create its own bank, but there are significant legal, logistical, regulatory and financial challenges to doing so.
(this article has been heavily modified since it was first published earlier this evening)
This afternoon was the deadline for briefs to be filed by the City of Seattle, the DOJ, the CPC, and other relevant parties related to the tentative labor contract with SPOG, the police officers’ union. Instead, the parties asked Judge Robart to give them until November 2, since he already agreed last week to move a scheduled status conference out to November 5. Robart didn’t respond, so the parties burned the midnight oil and got their briefs in anyway. Also, Inspector General for Public Safety Lisa Judge and OPA Director Andrew Myerberg both sent letters last Friday to the City Council with their feedback on the tentative contract.
Today Judge James Robart, the judge overseeing implementation of the consent decree over biased policing by SPD, scheduled a status conference for next Thursday, November 1, to discuss the tentative contract with Seattle police officers.
Even putting all the furious activity around the SPOG contract aside for a moment, it was a very busy day for the city on the legal front. Two rulings were handed down today, along with one legal filing that essentially settles a long-pending case.
In May, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt the City of Seattle a setback in its defense of its ordinance granting Uber and Lyft drivers the right to collective bargaining. In June, the city petitioned the appeals court for an en banc rehearing of the case in front of the entire court.
Last Friday the court denied that petition.
Last month the City of Seattle filed a motion asking the court to dismiss one of two lawsuits alleging that the City Council and Mayor violated the Open Public Meetings Act when it repealed the head tax. This morning, the judge in the case denied that motion, allowing both cases to continue forward.
Last month ERIC, an industry association, sued the City of Seattle over a portion of Initiative 124 that requires companies to either provide gold-level healthcare to hotel workers or compensate them accordingly. Yesterday, the City of Seattle and ERIC filed with the court an agreement that the city would not attempt to enforce that provision of I-124 until January in exchange for an extension of time to file its legal brief in defense of the ordinance.
Last Friday Roger Forbes, the owner of the Showbox music venue, filed a lawsuit in King County Superior Court challenging the legality of the City Council’s recently-passed “Save the Showbox” ordinance that added the property to the Pike Place Market Historical District.
Last week, the ERISA Industry Committee (aka ERIC) filed a new legal challenge to a section of Initiative 124, which provides protections to hotel workers.