Wapato contracts with new public records clerk to prevent potential lawsuits

WAPATO, Wash. - After facing multiple lawsuits over alleged violations of public records law, the City of Wapato is getting a new clerk to oversee the masses of public records requests the city has accumulated over the past few years. 

The Wapato City Council voted unanimously at a meeting Monday night to approve a contract with retired Yakima County public records clerk Stormy Miller.

Council member and mayor pro tempore Keith Workman says Miller is not just qualified, but in his opinion, is overqualified for the position. 

"[She's] been to law school, worked as a paralegal, worked for Yakima County for almost 20 years — all public records experience," Workman said. "So [she] should be ready to attack."

While the city is in a hiring freeze due to a financial emergency, Miller was not hired as an employee, but as an independent contractor working with the city through December at up to 30 hours a week. 

Wapato city officials say one goal of having Miller in place is to decrease the chance of delays that could spark another lawsuit. 

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