STATE OF WASHINGTON
EXECUTIVE ETHICS BOARD
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
June 16, 2000
The Executive Ethics Board convened in Regular Session at 10:30 a.m., in Room 2395 of the Bank of California Building, 900 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, Washington.
Present: Cheryl Rohret, Chair
Sutapa Basu, Vice Chair
Janet Lim, Board Member
Laquita Fields, Board Member
James Vache, Board Member
Also Present: William B. Collins, Counsel
Jerri Thomas, AAG to Executive Secretary
Debbie O'Dell, Ethics Trainer
a: ROLL CALL
All Board members were present. Also present were Counsel William B. Collins, AAG Jerri Thomas, and Debbie O'Dell, Ethics Trainer.
b: APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Agenda posted on Ethics webpage did not include item number four - "Consideration of WSDOT Employee Memorials policy". Noted that there were two number four's on agenda, changed to reflect one through seven. Agenda approved as amended.
c: APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM MAY 12, 2000 REGULAR MEETING
Board unanimously approved minutes as written.
2. PRESENTATION OF STIPULATION & ORDER REGARDING EEB CASE NO.99-11, DAWN RAMOS, RESPONDENT
AAG Jerri Thomas presented the background of the case to the Board. The Stipulation and Order requires the Respondent to pay $250 in five installments of $50 each. Respondent also agrees not to commit further ethics violations. In the event that respondent either fails to timely make the civil penalty payments or commits another ethics violations, the full payment of $250 will become due immediately. Ms. Thomas offered the settlement to the Board.
The Board discussed the history of previous settlement offers. The Board unanimously approved the settlement offer and signed the Stipulation and Order.
3. CANDIDATE SEARCH
Counsel Bill Collins presented information regarding the candidate search for replacement of Meg Grimaldi, former Executive Secretary. The job announcement is not ready yet as the job specs and salary are still under review. When ready, the announcement will be distributed widely (newspaper, Dept. of Personnel, Bar News, law schools, COGEL, etc.). There will be a screening process and the Board is invited to participate. Mr. Collins, Ms. Thomas, and Fred Olson, Director of Administration for the Office of the Attorney General, will sit on the interview panel. Chris Gregoire will personally interview final candidates. The goal is to have the new Executive Secretary on board by the September Board meeting. The third week of July is the anticipated date for interviews.
Jim Vache expressed his willingness to participate in the interviews. Janet Lim would also like to participate if she's available at the time the interviews are conducted.
Board members shared a letter they received from Meg Grimaldi that outlined concerns Ms. Grimaldi has about the EEB that included staffing, investigative functions, budget, and salary for the Executive Secretary position. Counsel Bill Collins gave a history of the budget for the Executive Ethics Board. Bill Collins will apprise Fred Olson of the letter. Board members indicated that the retreat being planned would be the appropriate arena to discuss budget issues and potentially establishing the Executive Ethics Board as it's own agency. Also mentioned was the concern regarding who staffs the EEB: the AGO or the EEB itself.
The Board discussed an e-mail from Paul Trummel entitled "The Grimaldi Affair" that took issue with the power of the Executive Secretary position.
4. CONSIDERATION OF WSDOT EMPLOYEE MEMORIALS POLICY
Washington State Department of Transportation Secretary, Sid Morrison, submitted a letter to the EEB dated June 7, 2000 asking for a formal Board approval of their Executive Order E1015.00 regarding Employee Memorials. Counsel Bill Collins presented background information which included the allowance of de minimis use of state resources to memorialize an employee killed in the line of duty and allowing state employees the opportunity to donate the cash value of shared vacation leave to a memorial fund.
Board members discussed the policy and approved it. However, the Board noted that approval of the policy did not constitute approval of the authority of DOT to create a leave donation program.
5. CR-101, COMPLAINT DISMISSALS
An informational piece was presented on the status of the rulemaking process to implement HB 2449, the new legislation that gives the EEB staff new authority to dismiss ethics complaints. The document that starts the rulemaking process, the CR-101 has been filed with the Code Reviserís office. The next step is to develop rule language for filing.
6. PUBLIC/BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Janet Lim suggested changing the Executive Secretary title to Executive Director or something more appropriate than "Secretary". The Board discussed the issued and agreed with Ms. Lim.
At 11:45 AM the Board announced it would take a 15 minute recess lunch, followed by an executive session. Executive Session began at 12:00pm and adjourned at 1:05pm
7. MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS/ADJOURNMENT
Laquita Fields will try to reserve the executive meeting room at Highline Community College for the July 28th meeting unless it is possible to have a reception in Olympia for Meg Grimaldi in conjunction with the July meeting. The Board discussed holding a reception to honor Meg for the time she served as the EEB Executive Secretary.
The public meeting adjourned at 1:15pm
Approved by the Executive Ethics Board on July 28, 2000.
CHERYL ROHRET, Chair