No release of text messages in records case

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 1:03 PM

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (AP) — A judge has blocked the release of 95 text messages between the Yakima County clerk and a male office employee who filed a sexual harassment complaint last year.

The Yakima Herald-Republic had sought release of all documents regarding the harassment complaint in a public records request to Yakima County.

But Kittitas County Superior Court Judge Frances Chmelewski says a reasonable person would find the contents of the text messages highly offensive and that they aren't a matter of legitimate public concern.

And while the messages are public records, Chmelewski ruled Tuesday that releasing them would violate Clerk Kim Eaton's right to privacy.

The male employee who filed the complaint is described as a longtime friend and business associate of Eaton's.

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Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, http://www.yakimaherald.com

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