Home Politics Report on missing texts in Seattle mayor’s speech yet to materialize

Report on missing texts in Seattle mayor’s speech yet to materialize

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Firm continues to bill the city for their work and was paid $407,000 as at Nov. 29

As Durkan prepares for his departure, a complete report on Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan’s missing text messages during last year’s racial injustice protests is yet to be published. Officials aren’t saying when it will.

The Seattle Times reported that it has been over a year since the city attorney’s department hired a private contractor for the analysis of the issue. It has also been more than five months since the office stated it would share the contractor’s complete report.

Crypsis Group continues to bill the city for their work, and was paid $407,000 as at Nov. 29. According to the city attorney’s office, that’s an increase of $201,000 from July 31.

However, the office could not say when the report would be ready or why it is taking so much time.

Dan Nolte, spokesperson for City Attorney Pete Holmes, stated that “I don’t have any additional information to share at the moment.” Holmes will also be leaving his position at month’s end.

Durkan spokesperson said Durkan had nothing to add.

The forensic report could not only be a source for information for the general public, but also for many lawsuits against Seattle for its handling of unrest and protests in mid-2020.

Crypsis was hired by the city attorney’s office to assist with its defense, as Durkan’s text wasn’t kept from late August 2019 through late June 2020.

Texts from at most eight other officials, including city fire chiefs and police chiefs, were also not retained for periods overlapping with June 2020 when police used tear gas to abandon their East Precinct and when the first of the two fatal shootings took place in a Capitol Hill zone temporarily given over to protesters.

Crypsis was hired by the city attorney’s in November 2020. The office of the mayor knew August 2020 that her texts had been lost. The information was not made public until May 2021 when the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission published a whistleblower report.

Durkan stated that she believed her texts were being kept, while acknowledging that the state’s law was not being followed in the way records requests were handled.