County settles lawsuit between judges, commissioners

MONTESANO, Wash. – The Grays Harbor County Commissioners yesterday reached a settlement agreement with the Superior Court Judges over funding, and security issues.

Special Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, Tom Fitzpatrick told the commissioners yesterday “This settlement agreement is the culmination of approximately a year and a half of protracted litigation, also weeks of negotiation, in order to come to a resolution which I am informed is satisfactory to the Superior Court.
The agreement restores funding cut from the judge’s budget earlier this year, moves security costs to a line item on the general fund, and sets a timetable for construction of a third courtroom.

The commissioners set public hearing dates of July 8 to add $19,674 to the Superior Court budget and $148,970 to the Juvenile Detention Center budget.

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The Vidette reports that as of April, the lawsuit was costing state and county taxpayers a combined $628,000.