The Mat-Su Borough’s Attorney is given time at each and every Assembly meeting to give a report. This report is not just for the Assembly members; it is for the PUBLIC. (The Manager and Clerk are also given regular time slots to provide information at each meeting.)
Here are the Assembly meeting minutes for June 5, 2018. What is missing from the Attorney’s report? BASIC INFORMATION.
Clearly, the Attorney is referring to the lawsuit filed by (former MSB Deputy Director of EMS) Lisa Behrens against the MSB. (Lawsuit was filed on May 22, 2018.) But he gives out ZERO information. Instead he announces that a mysterious lawsuit (or lawsuits) have been filed and that the Assembly members may come see him in his office if they have any questions.
The public deserves to have basic information about any new lawsuits. We have the right to know the name of the case, what court it was filed in, and the case number.
The attorney (who is paid from public funds and represents the Mat-Su Borough) needs to announce: The MSB (and the Director of EMS and the Manager) have been sued by former MSB employee Lisa Behrens. The lawsuit is case 3PA-18-1703 CI. The MSB has hired Perkins Coie to represent us. We estimate this may cost us 100K in legal fees etc. Obviously, the MSB attorney is not expected to comment on the merits of the case – but the public certainly deserves to know the basic facts – a lawsuit was filed; case name; and a case number, etc.
The MSB is not a private entity. It is our local government. The MSB needs to disclose basic information to us. I never would have found this case except that I happened to be looking at the Palmer Court calendar the other day (early August 2018) and saw that this case was set for a Pre-Trial conference. I should have found out about it via the MSB Atty’s comments TWO MONTHS AGO at the June 5th Assembly meeting.
This is why we have a regular section set aside at each Assembly meeting for — ding ding ding — Report from the Attorney. A report is not – hey, some mysterious lawsuit was filed and members please come to my office to discuss it behind closed doors. The report is for the PUBLIC and the report needs to give the public some modicum of information – at least a case name and number.
The MSB should not HIDE this type of basic information.