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


January 11, 2008

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 Evelyn Yenson at 9:00 a.m. In attendance were Vice Chair Judy Golberg and Members Neil Gorrell and Linnaea Jablonski. Board staff in attendance included:  Executive Director Melanie de Leon, Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Moran, Assistant Attorney General Ted Miller, Administrative Officer Ruthann Bryant and Investigators Nancy Lewin and Sue Jones. 


2.    Approval of Agenda

Chair Yenson requested time to say farewell to Susan Harris and welcome new executive director, Melanie de Leon prior, to Item B.


Motion 08-001 Moved by Vice Chair Golberg, seconded by Member Gorrell:


The Board approves the January 11, 2008 agenda as amended.


The motion passed unanimously.


3.    Approval of November 9, 2007 Meeting Minutes


Motion 08-002 Moved by Member Gorrell, seconded by Member Jablonski:


The Board approves the November 9, 2007 minutes as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


Chief of Staff Mike Bigelow thanked Susan Harris for her service to the agency and to the state. He commented that she is a great lady and will be missed.


Mr. Bigelow also introduced new Executive Director Melanie deLeon and added that she has a varied background that will be an asset to the agency.


The Board also welcomed Melanie and presented Susan Harris with a small gift as a token of their appreciation.


Ms. Harris thanked the Board and staff for their support, adding that her time with the agency has been pleasurable.


Chair Yenson also introduced Assistant Attorney General Ted Miller, who will be replacing Michael Tribble as counsel to Board staff.  Mr. Miller has a background in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.


B.     Election of Officers

Motion 08-003 Moved by Member Jablonski, seconded by Vice Chair Golberg:


The Board elects Judy Golberg as Chair of the Executive Ethics Board and Neil Gorrell as Vice Chair of the Executive Ethics Board effective immediately.


The motion passed unanimously.


C.   Legislation

Melanie de Leon briefly summarized legislation that may have an impact on RCW 42.52., including HB 2915 and SB 6293 which request to remove the requirement that the Board allow a respondent an ALJ if the penalty is more than $500.


D.   Advisory Opinion

           Weight Watchers at Work Program

Melanie de Leon discussed draft Advisory Opinion 08-01, Authorizing Wellness Organizations to Sell Products. The opinion clarifies that wellness meetings are intended to promote the well-being of employees and while it may benefit the employee to use the official products of the organization, but having them available at the meetings is merely a convenience to the member/employee.


Motion 08-004 Moved by Member Yenson, seconded by Member Jablonski:


The Board adopts Advisory Opinion 08-01, Authorizing Wellness Organizations to Sell Products, as written.


The motion passed unanimously.

E.  Staff Reports

1.  Executive Director’s Report

Melanie de Leon reported on her plans to implement specialized training programs with emphasis on executive management teams as well as higher education. She also noted that the case backlog has significantly decreased and she will continue the trend.


2.  AAG Report

Senior Assistant Attorney General Linda Moran reported that the Scott Smith matter has been dismissed and the case is now closed.  She also introduced Senior Counsel Jerry Anderson, who will be assisting her on future cases where a formal order is written.

Assistant Attorney General Ted Miller reported that Ms. Knudsen has appealed the decision of the Spokane Superior Court, but no final order has been issued to date.

Ms. de Leon added that Mike Tribble has recently taken a position with the Agriculture and Health Division. She read a note from him thanking the Board and staff for their support.


3.  Other Staff Reports

No other staff reports were given.


F.  Public Comment/Board Member Comments

      Chair Golberg thanked Member Yenson for her leadership over the past year.


Harvey Gertson, retired Department of Transportation ethics advisor, commented that he has enjoyed attending the meetings for the last twelve years and appreciates that the board has always allowed advisors the opportunity to speak.


G.  Executive or Closed Session

      At 9:30 a.m. the Board moved into Closed Session to discuss potential litigation, deliberate and to receive and evaluate complaints against state employees and officers.  The Board returned to regular session at 10:08 a.m.


H.   Miscellaneous Matters/Adjournment

      There being no miscellaneous matters, the meeting was adjourned at 10:09 a.m.


Approved by the Board 2/8/08