City To Pay ACLU Lawsuit Costs From Risk Fund
The Yakima City Council unanimously decided to drop the ACLU's voting lawsuit appeal Tuesday, but that decision had a price tag of more than $1.8 million in fees and costs to the ACLU. Randy Beehler, Yakima's communications director, says the city will payi for the settlement through their risk management fund.
"It is essentially a savings account that we use to pay for unexpected costs like this," he explains.
Beehler adds that the risk management fund is used to pay for things like damage claims and litigation settlements. The city will not have to pay any interest that has accumulated for the more than $1.8 million.
The good news: $100,000 of the settlement will be donated back to the city. Beehler said that the money will be used to promote equity, equal opportunity and fair treatment.
The ACLU's lawsuit goes back to 2012, when the city was sued because its districts were drawn by the number of eligible voters as opposed to the number of total voters. A U.S. District Court ordered the city to change to a district-based council system in 2014. Wednesday that change was made permanent, leaving the city with a large sum of money to pay.