The regular meeting of the Washington State Executive Ethics Board
(EEB) was called to order by Chair Trish Akana at She introduced new member KyleUsrey. Member Usrey is the Dean of the School of Global Commerce &
Management at WhitworthCollege. Members also introduced themselves,
provided a brief background and welcomed him to the Board.
Also in attendance were Members Judy Golberg and NeilGorrell. Vice Chair Evelyn Yenson was present
via telephone. Board staff in attendance included:Executive Director SusanHarris, SeniorAssistant Attorney GeneralNancyKrier, Administrative Officer Ruthann Bryant
and Investigator Sue Jones. SusanHarris also introduced TerrySpringer, who is on staff for a few months
designing a new website.
2.Approval of Agenda
Chair Akana noted that a revised agenda
has been distributed to include Stipulations and Orders. She requested that the
Stipulations and Orders be moved to Item B before Advisory Opinions.
Motion 07-022 Moved by Member Golberg, seconded by
The Board approves the October 13, 2006
agenda as amended.
Board approves the September 8, 2006 minutes as presented.
Voting for: Members Golberg, Gorrell,
Akana and Yenson
Abstaining: Member Usrey
The motion passed.
B.Stipulations and Orders
1.EEB Case No. 06-030 (MarkMason)
SusanHarris briefed the Board on the proposed
stipulation and order. Mr.Mason agreed that he violated RCW 42.52.160
when he used state resources for personal gain and to support an outside
business. The Board’s deliberation on the proposal was deferred until closed
2.EEB Case No. 05-032 (SteveKlingele)
Ms.Harris briefed the Board on the proposed
stipulation and order. Mr.Klingele agreed that he violated RCW 42.52.160
when he used a state computer to view Internet sites not related to his
official duties. The Board’s deliberation on the proposal was deferred until
C.Advisory Opinion Requests
and Recreation Commission – Private Business in State Housing
SusanHarris introduced MelanieWatness and SteveBrand from WashingtonState Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) and
summarized a request for an advisory opinion on whether it is permissible to
allow state employees who reside in Parks housing to conduct an outside
business in the residence.
Ms.Watness provided background on the issue and
noted that Parks is proposing to draft an internal
directive that would allow self-employment/private businesses in park
residences only under very strict conditions.
Staff believes that the statute prohibits the type of activities
contemplated by Parks and recommends not issuing an advisory opinion, or
issuing an opinion stating that conducting an outside business in state
facilities is prohibited.
The Board stated that the law and rules are very clear:state resources may not be used for private
benefit.While they commended Parks for attempting to draft conditions that
the employees must agree to prior to conducting a business in state housing,
such use can undermine the public’s confidence and trust.
Motion 07-024 Moved by Chair Akana, seconded by Member
The Board supports recommendation by
staff and directs staff to draft a letter based on specific facts in this case
for review at the next Board Meeting.
The motion passed unanimously.
2.Can graduate students from the University of Washington
keep vouchers received from an airline for volunteering to be “bumped” from an
overbooked flight while on official business?
Ms.Harris summarized a request for an advisory
opinion on whether employees may keep vouchers for free flights when, while
traveling on state business, they were voluntarily “bumped” from their original
flight. She noted that the Board’s Advisory Opinion 03-03 allows state
employees to keep frequent flyer miles earned while traveling on state business
since the administrative costs associated with tracking and collecting frequent
flyer miles would exceed benefits derived. She added that there would be no
administrative cost involved since the voucher is a tangible item that can be
given to the agency.
After discussion, the Board determined that the employees were
traveling on agency business, and because the agency paid for the travel, the
voucher belonged to the agency.They
directed staff to draft a letter based on specific facts in this case and bring
to the next meeting for approval.
– may employees who live a fair distance from their
work site stay overnight in the work facility without cost?
SusanHarris updated the Board on a request for an
advisory opinion on whether Washington State Patrol (WSP) employees can use
facilities of the WSPFireTrainingAcademy in North Bend to stay overnight and avoid a long
commute home. She noted that this item was discussed at the September 8th
meeting and further information was requested at that time. State Fire Marshal
Michael Matlick addressed the questions raised and
stated that in the last two years, employees were called in 12 times for snow
removal, power outages or to reset the water system.
Staff believes that unless there is explicit statutory authority
to do so, to stay overnight in state facilities for no other reason than
convenience is a misuse of state resources and would be considered a violation
of the Ethics in Public Service Act, regardless of public benefit.
MelanieWatness from WashingtonState Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) noted
that an advisory opinion on this issue would be helpful since Parks has similar situations.
After discussion, the Board directed staff to draft an opinion for
approval at the November 17th meeting.
1.Executive Director’s Report
SusanHarris summarized training conducted by staff
and reported on the upcoming training scheduled.
2.Other Staff Reports
RuthannBryant briefly commented on the new website
E.Public Comment/Board Member Comments
Chair Akana briefly discussed the process for the annual
evaluation and performance development plan for the Executive Director. Ms.Harris noted that Chief of Staff MiltDoumit is currently working on the evaluation
and would be in touch with the Board members for their comments.
F.Executive or Closed Session
At the Board moved into Closed Session to discuss potential
litigation, deliberate and to receive and evaluate complaints against state
employees and officers.
At the Board returned to
regular session and reported that the Stipulation and Orders in EEB Case No.
06-030, MarkMason and
EEB Case No. 05-032, SteveKlingele,
have been accepted. Staff will negotiate payment schedules on both cases with
the full penalty to be paid within one year.
The Board also reported that Mr. Pope has
withdrawn his complaint against Governor
using state resources for private gain, and the matter is now closed. Staff
will send a letter to Mr. Pope acknowledging that the complaint has been
There being no
miscellaneous matters, the meeting was adjourned at