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Tag: Peter Goldmark


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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Will lawyer who won Goldmark’s case get paid?

State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark has yet to decide what his lawyer should be paid for representing him in his legal victory over Attorney General Rob McKenna.

The lack of a decision is notable in itself because Goldmark’s office said in June 2010 the private attorney would take the case pro bono:

Goldmark has retained the pro bono legal services of attorney David Bricklin, at no cost to the state or trusts.

But Bricklin said today he never intended to work for free.

“I’ve been sending them bills and haven’t been getting paid,” he said. “I wasn’t doing

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Supreme Court orders Rob McKenna to represent state lands commissioner

Washington’s attorney general has the power to act on his own — but sometimes he has to act whether he wants to or not.

That seems to be the gist of two state Supreme Court decisions today. A unanimous decision finds that the attorney general has broad authority that allows him to join in the lawsuit against so-called Obamacare. But seven justices say he doesn’t have a choice in providing legal representation to state officials.

Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna must represent Democratic Lands Commission Peter Goldmark in a case involving the condemnation of state land, the justices decided.

Justice Charles Johnson writes that state law

expressly requires the attorney general to represent the commissioner in any court when so requested by the commissioner. This duty is mandatory, and the attorney general has no discretion to deny the commissioner legal representation. … If the attorney general could refuse to represent the commissioner, then the commissioner could be left without any legal representation whatsoever. Such refusal would place agency policy-making decisions with the attorney general, rather than the elected official, board, or administrator who has been delegated that duty

Justice Debra Stephens and departing Justice Richard Sanders dissented, saying the opinion clashes with the one they issued in the health care case.

While the attorney general’s role to provide legal counsel is   mandated by statute, it fundamentally involves discretion and legal judgment entrusted to an independently elected official.

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Buck would stop at Gov. Chris Gregoire under her reorganization plan

The plan to consolidate agencies that Gov. Chris Gregoire laid out today also consolidates the power of the governor.

Two agencies that today are run by independent commissions would move under Gregoire’s direct control, if the Legislature signs off on her reorganization plan for environmental agencies.

The governor would appoint the head of a new Department of Conservation and Recreation, replacing two directors appointed by the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission. Those boards are appointed by the governor, so she has indirect authority over the agencies.

The commissions would survive but would be stripped of their regulatory authority. They would become citizen advisory boards, providing a voice for academics, fishermen, hunters, hikers and the like, but not running the agency.

Gregoire is likely to get pushback, but it doesn’t look like it will come from the chairman of the parks board, who was favorable to the idea and said it should get a serious look.

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Supreme Court hears cases on Attorney General Rob McKenna

State Supreme Court justices are considering the limits of Rob McKenna‘s power.

The attorney general’s authority is the subject of two cases that came before the court today for oral arguments. In one, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes has challenged McKenna’s participating in a challenge of the federal health care overhaul. In the other, Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark is trying to force McKenna to continue to represent him in a legal case involving condemnation of state trust lands.

Twenty state attorneys general are suing over the health care bill. Among other arguments, they say the federal government doesn’t have the

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Supreme Court will hear Goldmark-McKenna dispute

The state Supreme Court will intervene in a dispute between two state elected officials.

Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark asked the court to force Attorney General Rob McKenna to continue representing him in a legal case. Goldmark wants McKenna to appeal a judge’s ruling that an Okanogan County utility district can condemn state land to build a power line.

On Friday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, setting oral arguments for Nov. 18. Goldmark’s office announced the decision today.

McKenna is filing the appeal with plans to drop it if the Supreme Court lets him, so it

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To force McKenna to go to court, Goldmark goes to court

A dispute between two state elected officials is going to the state Supreme Court. In the meantime, they’ll work together on the legal case at the heart of the dispute.

The back story: A judge ruled against the state, saying an Okanogan County utility district can condemn state land to build a power line. Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark wanted to appeal. Attorney General Rob McKenna wouldn’t.

Goldmark filed briefs today with the Supreme Court asking it to force McKenna to handle the appeal. While the court considers the issue, Goldmark said, McKenna has agreed to file the appeal “contingently,”

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