Circuit Court Judge Henry C. Breithaupt ruled in favor of TriMet’s lawsuit regarding Clackamas County’s commitment to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project agreements. The Court ruled that Clackamas County breached its contractual commitments to the project and that it must now honor its commitments supporting the construction of the line or pay monetary damages.
The Court said that two recent ballot measures from September 2012 and May 2013 do not “…excuse performance by Clackamas County of its obligations under the IGA and Supplemental IGA.”
In referencing the IGAs, the Court also noted that, “It is important to recognize that those agreements were acts by the parties in a long string of actions by each of the parties…for the purpose of carrying forward a common decision to build the light rail system…”
“We’re pleased that the Court upheld the long-standing commitments that TriMet and the County have made,” said TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane. “We also remain committed to working with the County while it completes its final obligations to the project.”
“The court’s ruling today provides needed direction and clarity on the county’s obligations to Portland Milwaukie Light Rail,” said Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow. “We followed the will of Clackamas County voters by placing the measure before them in May. Now a judge has indicated, in no uncertain terms, that we must abide by the agreements made by last year’s Commission majority, no matter how we feel about the issue personally.”
“I am satisfied that we fulfilled our promise to bring this issue before the voters for judgment. Now we must follow the direction set by the court,” he said.
Construction on the Portland-Milwaukie project is more than 40 percent complete and set to open in September 2015.