SUNNYSIDE — In the nearly two weeks since the Washington State Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit against the city, officials have responded with its own legal action for dismissal.

The law firm of Menke Jackson Beyer, LLP of Yakima, on behalf of the City of Sunnyside, filed a 14-page “Motion to Withdraw for Failure to State A Claim,” with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington the morning of Aug. 7.

In short, the counter suit states, “Plaintiff has failed to articulate a viable cause of action against the City of Sunnyside and its Complaint should be dismissed in its entirety.”

The City’s response articulates the numerous ways the AG’s office failed to provide required detail in its July 30, 2019, “Complaint For Declaratory Relief, Injunctive Relief and Damages.”

Following the AG’s late July filing, it followed up with a series of secondary documents sent to the Sunnyside Sun, in response to requests for clarification and additional information. These precise types of details were some of the details lacking in the AG’s motion and prior discussions, according to city officials.

Mayor Julia Hart called an executive session on Monday, Aug. 5, at 5:30 p.m., in the council conference room, to discuss potential litigation. The meeting adjourned nearly an hour later, with no acknowledgement of the meeting, or any follow-up action.

The follow-up from the city came Wednesday morning, Aug. 7, in the form of an email from City Manager Casey, accompanied by a copy of the Motion to Withdraw filing.

Casey’s accompanying statement reads, in part, “The City will not attempt to litigate this matter through the media.”

Parties interested in more information about the counter filing are directed to contact one of the two city’s attorneys – Menke Jackson Beyer or Eric Ferguson, Kerr Law Group, Kennewick, WA.

Deb Brumley can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 114 or email DBrumley@sunnysidesun.com

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