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The Law and Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct

The replacement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct is turning out to be as much a legacy project for its legal precedents as it is for whatever civic edifice rises in its place - major issues so far include the State's ability to ignore environmental law before issuing contracts and contrary to public vote and the separate 'lead' authority of the Council and Mayor in that context.

This Seattle Times article concerns a third player rising to 'lead' status - the Seattle City Attorney, Pete Holmes, who has now filed suit on behalf of the City without explicit authorization from either the Mayor or the Council.

I support Mr. Holmes' standing to file this suit, however disagree with it on its merits. A publicly elected attorney's client is the public and Mr. Holmes lawsuit seeks to block a vote on this specific project. Second only to a public vote in clarity is the fiscal interest of Seattle Citizenry, the legal term for which is 'fiduciary responsibility'.

Clearly this project is not being managed prudently concerning business and resident pocketbooks - a boondoggle in the making if ever there was one - nor, for that matter is the previous decade of unproductive 'process' the responsibility of the public either.

Me thinks in this matter Mr. Holmes is suing on behalf of the legal profession and their clients, not the taxpaying citizen.

Gregoire, et al, have failed to produce a doable project on an engineering, design, or fiscal basis and this project is nothing but yet another government bailout for failure - worse the public process is being totally violated.

No means no, does it not? - unless you are Christine Gregoire and her 'bi-partisan' corporate clients conspiring to defraud through a variety of techniques, including defamation and worse.


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