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Category: Attorney General


Court rules against Goldmark in case that McKenna argued under protest

A local public-utility district is legally allowed to use eminent domain to take over state forest land, a court has ruled.

“We conclude that the State trust lands may be condemned as a matter of law,” a unanimous three-judge Court of Appeals panel wrote, siding with a PUD trying to build a power line in the Methow Valley and against Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark.

I missed the ruling last week but the Methow Valley News covered it here:

The PUD can condemn state land for its Pateros-Twisp powerline, said the Court of Appeals in Spokane in a ruling issued

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No word from Attorney General Eric Holder on legal marijuana; Gov. Jay Inslee says push ahead on rules

New Gov. Jay Inslee wants the state Liquor Control Board to move ahead with preparations to issue licenses to marijuana growers and sellers.

“I don’t believe we should put the brakes on this. I think we should continue in a rational way” with rulemaking, Inslee said today in a telephone news conference with state Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

Inslee and Ferguson were in Washington, D.C., where they filled in U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on the law that legalized marijuana in Washington, including what tasks state employees are being asked to do. But Inslee said Holder didn’t telegraph whether his Justice Department will try to

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Swearing-in ceremony brings moments of levity

As legislators and onlookers filled the House chamber, seven officials stood-by ready to be sworn-in. When it was time to take their oaths, levity was a common theme.

Bob Ferguson’s swearing-in as Attorney General was met with a large grin from Ferguson and laughter from lawmakers and onlookers when Supreme Court Justice Steven Gonzalez included the actual RCW code numbers Ferguson’s oath.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman was visibly choked up during her swearing-in. During her brief address, she thanked her family and alluded to her successful ascension of the stairs and tears of joy. “I didn’t trip,” Wyman said.

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Retiring, moving on, and moving over; three officials say farewell

During a joint session of the Washington Legislature, three of the state’s top elected officials said their farewells.

Brian Sonntag

After 34 years in public office, State Auditor Brian Sonntag is retiring.

Democrat Troy Kelley will replace Sonntag.

Sonntag’s retirement comes after serving five terms in office. He was first elected in 1992, and during his time at the auditor’s office he’s built a reputation as being a champion of open government.

“Our state’s founders were a bunch of populists that didn’t really like or trust government very much,” Sonntag said.

Open government, Sonntag said, is a deeply held value

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Capitol shuffle sends AG’s lobbyist Hunter Goodman to top Senate admin job

Hunter Goodman is moving over from the Attorney General’s Office to serve as secretary of the Senate. The announcement just went out confirming the day’s earlier rumor as Goodman replaces longtime secretary Tom Hoemann. Goodman was deputy chief of staff and served as legislative director for outgoing Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican who ran and lost his bid for governor.

New AG Bob Ferguson, a Democrat, is replacing some staff members, including the appointment today of a new solicitor general.

Goodman obviously knows his way around the Capitol but the powers that be still have to

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AG-elect Ferguson names Noah Guzzo Purcell as new state solicitor general

Attorney General-elect Bob Ferguson has picked Seattle lawyer Noah Guzzo Purcell to serve as his new solicitor general after he takes office next week. Purcell, a Seattle native, replaces Maureen Hart, who is retiring. The move is one of the few announced by Ferguson, a Democrat, as he prepares to take the place of two-term Republican Rob McKenna on Jan. 16.

Purcell is a Harvard trained lawyer from Seattle who once clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter and who has provided pro bono legal help to patients in the Plan B contraceptives case – Stormans v. Selecky,

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Reagan Dunn concedes to Bob Ferguson in state attorney general race

In comments that belied just how hard hitting (if not nasty) their campaign commercials got, Republican Reagan Dunn put out a concession statement this morning in the Washington attorney general’s race. Bob Ferguson, the Seattle Democrat and fellow member of the King County Council, leads in votes this morning by 115,083 votes – or 52.8 percent to 47.2 percent.

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Gregoire won’t appeal to Supreme Court over ruling on Medicaid cuts; case brought by SEIU now goes to trial

Gov. Chris Gregoire said Monday she won’t appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in order to defend budget cuts she sought in 2011. The cuts were challenged in court by 14 disabled people who saw a cut in assistance from state-paid home-care aides in March 2011, and the  Democratic governor now plans to let the state take its chances at trial in U.S. District Court.

Gregoire said in a statement that state concerns – about being able to make budget cuts in Medicaid without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act – were addressed in a letter from the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services dated Oct. 22, or Monday.

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