2425 Bristol Court SW– 1st Floor Conference Room 148 – Olympia, WA


January 9, 2009

Regular Meeting Minutes



A.   Preliminary Business

1.    Roll Call

The regular meeting of the Washington State Executive Ethics Board (EEB) was called to order by Chair Neil Gorrell at 9:00 a.m.  In attendance were Vice Chair Linnaea Jablonski, Members Golberg and Biegelman.  Member Connelly was present via telephone. Board staff in attendance included:  Executive Director Melanie de Leon, Senior Counsel Jerry Anderson, Assistant Attorney General Mickey Newberry, Administrative Officer Ruthann Bryant, and Investigators Nancy Lewin and Sue Jones. 


2.    Approval of Agenda

Melanie deLeon noted that the agenda has been revised to remove Rule Making and add an additional Discussion Item.


Motion 09-001 Moved by Member Golberg, seconded by Vice Chair Jablonski:


The Board approves the January 9, 2009 revised agenda as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


3.    Approval of the November 14, 2008 Meeting Minutes


Motion 09-002 Moved by Member Golberg, seconded by Vice Chair Jablonski:


The Board approves the November 14, 2008 minutes as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


B.   Enforcement Matters

            Approval of Stipulated Facts, Conclusion and Order

            EEB Case No. 08-018 (Kristin Millis)

Chair Gorrell noted that this matter had been before him as a Brief Adjudicative Proceeding in November, however it was decided at that time that the full Board should hear the matter. Melanie deLeon briefed the Board on the proposed stipulation and order. Ms. Millis agreed that she violated RCW 42.52.160, when she used state resources for personal interests. The parties agreed that Ms. Millis would pay a civil penalty of $500 with $250 suspended.

The Board deferred action until after closed session.


C.   Discussion Items

1.    Ms. de Leon summarized a request asking if a Department of Revenue Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) may make a determination regarding the tax liability of Acme Co., where the ALJ holds shares in Beta Co., and Beta Co. has a financial and voting interest in Theta Co. which owns Acme Co.?

Following discussion, the Board requested further information regarding the amount of stock owned and a transaction involving the state.


2.    Ms. de Leon also discussed whether a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) can require a state agency to include printed information supplied by a Union into the worker’s pay envelopes, particularly a flyer regarding legislative initiatives. She noted that during a previous arbitration of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare 775 NW’s CBA included language that the employer agrees to include information provided by the Union in pay envelops sent to individual providers if certain conditions were met. Ms. de Leon added that due to the flooding, union representatives were unable to attend the meeting and requested that further discussion also be held at a future meeting.

Diane Lutz, Office of Financial Management Labor Relations Office, provided further background of the bargaining union and stated that no information will be sent out until the matter is resolved.

Gladys Burbank, Washington Federation of State Employees, commented that RCW 42.52.560 allows for distribution of communications.

Chair Gorrell emphasized that no one can contract around the law. The Board will discuss the matter again at the February meeting so that all interested parties could attend.


D.   Approval of Agency Policy

Ms. de Leon provided two draft policies submitted by the Department of Veterans Affairs regarding Visitors and Media Access at State Veterans Homes and introduced Heidi Audette.

Member Golberg requested that the title on the Visitors policy include “at state veterans homes.”


Motion 09-003 Moved by Vice Chair Jablonski, seconded by Member Biegelman:


The Board approves the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Media Access at State Veterans Homes as presented and approves the Visitor policy as amended.


The motion passed unanimously.


E.   Staff Reports

1.  Executive Director’s Report

Melanie de Leon provided a draft of the 2008 Annual Report, highlighting new sections that have been added and noted that 1,800 state employees had been trained. She also presented the draft Strategic Plan for approval.


Motion 09-004 Moved by Chair Gorrell, seconded by Member Biegelman:


The Board approves the Executive Ethics Board Strategic Plan 2009-2013 as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


Ms. de Leon reported that proposed legislation regarding increasing the penalty amount requiring an Administrative Law Judge did not receive a sponsor this year.  She also briefly discussed the budget, noting that meetings may be cancelled if there are not enough agenda items. 


Ms. de Leon also noted that staff has also been working on reviewing all Advisory Opinions and will be bringing some to each meeting for potential amendments/repeal. The Board suggested adding a recurring review date to Advisory Opinions in the future.


2.  AAG Report

AAG Mickey Newberry provided a brief update on current cases. She also noted that a hearing has been scheduled for the April 10th meeting.


3.  Other Staff Reports

No other staff reports were given.


F.    Public Comment/Board Member Comment

No public or board member comments were expressed.


G.   Closed Session

At 10:30 a.m. Chair Gorrell noted there were no executive session items and the Board moved into Closed Session to deliberate on quasi-judicial matters. 

      At 10:45 a.m. the Board returned to regular session and reported the following:


Motion 09-005 Moved by Chair Gorrell, seconded by Vice Chair Jablonski:


The Board accepts the Stipulated Facts, Conclusion and Order in EEB Case #08-018, Kristin Millis, as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


Motion 09-006 Moved by Chair Gorrell, seconded by Member Biegelman:


The Board finds Reasonable Cause in EEB Case #08-100, Bernie Andringa.


The motion passed unanimously.


I.   Miscellaneous Matters/Adjournment

There being no miscellaneous matters, the meeting was adjourned at 10:46 a.m.


Approved by the Board 2/13/09