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


May 11, 2007

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 Trish Akana, Neil Gorrell and Kyle Usrey. Board staff in attendance included:  Executive Director Susan Harris, Senior Assistant Attorney General Nancy Krier, Assistant Attorney General Michael Tribble, Administrative Officer Ruthann Bryant and Investigators Sue Jones and Nancy Lewin.


2.    Approval of Agenda


Motion 07-045 Moved by Vice Chair Golberg, seconded by Member Gorrell:


The Board approves the May 11, 2007 agenda as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


3.    Approval of April 13, 2007 Meeting Minutes


Motion 07-046 Moved by Vice Chair Golberg, seconded by Member Gorrell:


The Board approves the April 13, 2007 minutes as presented.


The motion passed unanimously.


B.   Advisory Opinion Request

Review of Advisory Opinion 98-10 Receipt of Door Prizes

Susan Harris reported that staff receives many questions pertaining to the receipt of door prizes, as addressed in Advisory Opinion 98-10. The opinion indicates that if the agency pays for an employee to attend a conference, and at the conference the employee wins the door prize, the prize belongs to the agency.  It also states that the agency can decide whether to keep the prize or allow the employee to keep it.


At a recent training, a question was raised that if a door prize belongs to the State, the agency cannot allow employees to keep the prize, but must follow state surplussing rules and regulations.  As a result, Ms. Harris suggested doing further research to try to determine why the opinion was written the way it was and bring the matter to a future meeting for discussion. 


Nancy Krier suggested citing only Ethics in Public Service RCW and WAC in the opinion but adding that there may be other state laws and rules that apply.


Department of Transportation Ethics Advisor Harvey Gertson commented that at the time the opinion was written, the Board was attempting to answer only the Ethics question presented to them.


The Board directed staff to conduct further research and bring the matter to a future meeting.


C.  Staff Reports

1.  Executive Director’s Report

Susan Harris noted that the issue of computer use and the de minimis rule was recently a topic of discussion at an ethics advisor meeting and suggested possibly revisiting the issue in the near future.


She also reported that she had conducted training for both the Lt. Governor’s Office and the Core Leadership Team and Administration Division Managers at the Office of the Attorney General.


Ms. Harris discussed the upcoming openings on the Board and noted that the Governor’s office has an announcement on their website.  She added that the July retreat is tentatively scheduled to be held in the new Office of the Attorney General building in Tumwater.


2.  AAG Report

Nancy Krier announced that she has accepted a new position as legal counsel at the Public Disclosure Commission beginning July 1, 2007.


3.  Other Staff Reports

Sue Jones reported that she and Nancy Lewin conducted training at Green River Community College for 70 college administrators.


G.  Public Comment/Board Member Comments

Department of Transportation’s Ethics Advisor Harvey Gertson expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to provide input on agenda items thanked the Board for their interaction with the public.




H.   Executive or Closed Session

At 9:45 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 10:30 a.m.


I.  Miscellaneous Matters/Adjournment

There being no miscellaneous matters, the meeting was adjourned at 10:31 a.m.


Approved by the Board 7/13/07