Nike prevails in Beaverton public records case

Washington County judge finds city in contempt

A Washington County circuit judge ruled Monday afternoon in favor of Nike Inc., holding the city of Beaverton in contempt and forcing the city to pay most of the costs of the state's largest public records case.

Judge Gayle Nachtigal said Monday that the city had forced Nike to make repeated requests for documents, prolonging the case and driving up legal costs.

A Nike attorney said two months ago that the company's legal costs could be more than $200,000.

Attorneys for the city and Nike were in Nachtigal's courtroom Monday afternoon for a hearing on the final disposition of the public records case.

The Fortune 500 sports apparel giant and the city have wrangled since December 2004 over a request for all the documents related to Beaverton's annexation policy and any plans to target Nike's World Campus on Southwest Murray Boulevard.

The city hired a court-appointed, computer forensics expert to retrieve the documents and e-mails and deluged Nike with thousands of pages of information thought relevant to the case.

Since the beginning, Nike has maintained that the city failed to provide information of value in the request.

Meanwhile, Beaverton officials charged that they were following the perimeters set by Nike and providing the company with the documents it asked for.

In December 2005, Judge Nachtigal set aside the issue of who would pay for the massive records request.

Attorneys representing both parties are expected to argue their cases during Monday's hearing.