This past week Ferguson’s office was set to defend Sound Transit in a suit over how the agency values vehicles when assessing fees. Ferguson was aware Sound Transit was over-valuing vehicles and in effect overcharging tax payers.
However, prior to the hearing Ferguson learned he had been misled by Sound Transit and that the agency was overcharging tax payers at an even higher rate than was previously known. Ferguson backed out and did not argue on Sound Transit’s behalf.
To deflect news of the embarrassment, on Friday Ferguson announced that he was demanding that Avista refund $41 Million it allegedly overcharged customers, saying he was fighting to put money back in the pockets of Washington families.
What about the families that had been gouged by Sound Transit? If Ferguson possessed any integrity he should have joined the plaintiff’s attorney in an offered settlement of over $120 million—3 times more than what Ferguson alleged Avista overcharged customers—to pressure Sound Transit to settle.
If there is no settlement, the amount Sound Transit could be ordered to refund may be significantly higher.
Does Ferguson really care about the people of Washington? Rather than hold Sound Transit accountable he signaled he does not mind that tax payers have been overcharged well over $100 Million and instead tried to save face by targeting a smaller fish.