OLYMPIA – Attorney General Rob McKenna today announced that he has promoted Deputy Solicitor General Tim Ford to assistant attorney general for government accountability effective June 18. Ford will serve as the Attorney General’s open government ombudsman and will promote government accountability by encouraging access to public records and proceedings.
“Tim Ford’s strong passion for open government and experience working on eminent domain cases and public records litigation make him the ideal person to expand our office’s successful initiatives to promote accountability and transparency in government work,” McKenna said. “Tim understands the needs of the public, news media and state and local governments in regards to complying with access laws. He embraces our belief that the public has a right to know how government is spending their tax dollars and exercising the powers given to them by Washington state residents.”
Ford replaces Greg Overstreet, who will leave in June to establish a private practice specializing in public disclosure. Overstreet drafted the Attorney General’s 2006 Model Rules on Public Records, served as Editor-in-Chief of the Washington State Bar Association’s Open Records Deskbook and was recently awarded with the Washington Coalition for Open Government’s Key Award for his work as the office’s ombudsman.
McKenna created the open government ombudsman position when he took office in January 2005 to provide citizens, media and government a resource for information about the Public Records Act or Open Public Meetings Act and to mediate disputes.
“I thank Greg Overstreet for all the work he has done to advance one of our office’s core missions. He has spent many hours outside the regular workday, promoting open records legislation, gathering input on and crafting our model rules, traveling around the state and working with requestors and government to expedite access to information,” McKenna said. “He has provided a solid foundation for this office—one I know Tim will continue to build upon.”
Ford, 42, has worked for the Solicitor General Division since 2005 and has supervised appellate matters, prepared formal and informal Attorney General Opinions and represented the state in litigation involving the powers of initiative and referendum. He has served as legal counsel to the secretary of state, lieutenant governor and administrator of the courts.
“The only way that people can exercise democracy is through access to government,” Ford said. “I believe in Attorney General McKenna’s mission to assist the public with obtaining information and aiding state and local agencies with complying public disclosure laws.”
Prior to joining the Attorney General’s Office, Ford served as legal counsel to the Building Industry Association of Washington, where his work frequently centered on laws regarding public disclosure, constitutional rights, land use issues and initiative and referendum processes. He also has experience in private practice and served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, supervising avionics personnel.
Ford earned his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane, Wash. He also holds a bachelor’s in psychology from Rutgers University and received additional training at the University of Washington and Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola, Fla.
He lives near Tumwater with his wife and their 2-year-old daughter.
Additional information about Attorney General McKenna’s open government initiatives and the role of the ombudsman can be found on the office’s Web site at http://www.atg.wa.gov/OpenGovernment/default.aspx
The Attorney General’s Office is accepting applications to fill Ford’s position in the Solicitor General’s Office.
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Media Contact: J. Ryan Shannon, Media Relations Manager, (360) 753-2727
Tim Ford, Deputy Solicitor General, (360) 586-0756
Greg Overstreet, Special Assistant Attorney General for Government Accountability, (360) 586-4802