Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Oct 4 2016

“I respect today’s order from Judge Rogoff in the Oso litigation.  I recognize and take responsibility for the errors of my office in conducting discovery in this important case.

“The Attorney General’s Office continues to work diligently to rectify our mistakes.  When I first learned in late August that state experts in the case had deleted emails, I immediately directed my staff to prioritize the collection and recovery of all evidence in our or our experts’ possession, with the assistance of computer forensic experts.  We have and will continue to swiftly turn over emails and other records to the court.

“The attorney who was the primary focus of the court’s order, Mark Jobson, is no longer working on this case or for the Attorney General’s Office.

“We have already begun developing new internal training programs to ensure this problem does not occur again.  Judge Rogoff’s order identifies steps my office should take, and these will be incorporated into our responsive measures.

“All attorneys have a duty to comply with the rules of evidence and the courts. That duty is especially important for the approximately 570 lawyers of the Attorney General’s Office, because the office serves as the law firm for the people and the State.  The court found that we fell short of that duty in this case, and I am committed to preventing that from happening again.”