WA AG’s Office Fined $200K for ‘Egregious’ Conduct in Abuse Case
According to reports, WA State Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office has been hit with a hefty fine.
King County Judge Fines AG's Office $200K
MyNorthwest.com, by way of Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH, reported this week the judge called the conduct by the AG's office "egregious."
According to court documents, a developmentally disabled woman sued the Department of Social and Health Services for negligence. The woman filed the lawsuit with help from her guardian. The suit claims DSHS did not adequately investigate allegations of abuse and neglect that happened in the adult home where she was placed. When DSHS gets sued, Ferguson's office defends them, as the AG's office would any other state agency.
King County Superior Court Judge Michael Ryan learned, during what's called discovery, that Ferguson's office waited over a year to turn over documents to the plaintiff, ones that could have helped her create her case against the state.
The Judge found that the documents were located in December 2021, but DSHS said the AG's office did not request them until six months later. Then they waited until last December to provide them to the woman's lawyer.
The judge also found Ferguson's office admits over 100,000 documents were not provided as required. One of the documents reportedly is an email showing a DSHS worker mocking or making fun of the developmentally disabled woman.
In a series of blistering statements issued by Judge Ryan, he called the AG's office actions:
“egregious, serious, without excuse, and the result of willful disregard for discovery obligations by both DSHS and the AGO. Punitive sanctions are warranted.”
The punitive sanctions are the $200.000 fine imposed by the judge.
Ferguson is busy ramping up what he called on Twitter an "exploratory" campaign for Governor, which was announced last week.
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