Executive Ethics Board SPECIAL Meeting Minutes

November 21, 2003



2425 Bristol Ct SW

First Floor Conference Room 148




A.        Preliminary Business

1.            Roll Call - The meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m.  Present were Chair Jim Vaché, Vice-Chair Marilee Scarbrough, Member Laquita Fields, and Member Paul Zellinsky.  Also in attendance: Executive Director, Brian Malarky; Board Counsel, Kent Nakamura; Investigator, Sue Jones; Board Staff, Cynthia Castanares; Board Staff, Debbie O’Dell. 

2.         Approval of Agenda - Motion was made, seconded and passed to approve the agenda as written. 

3.            Approval of October 10, 2003 Regular Meeting Minutes - Motion made, seconded and passed to approve the October 10, 2003 minutes.

B.        Advisory Opinions

1.         Draft Advisory Opinion 03-0X (Off-Season Employment of Washington Horse Racing Commission (WHRC) Employees) - Executive Director, Brian Malarky, provided a background summary regarding the question of WHRC employees, who time horses for official records, conducting clocking activities for horsemen during the time they are not employed by the WHRC.  Bob Lopez, Administrative Services Manager for WHRC and appeared on behalf of WHRC answered questions from the Board.  After discussion, motion was made, seconded, and passed that Mr. Malarky provide informal advice to WHRC.  That letter will note that Clockers could not work for horsemen in the off-season, however, the agency could resolve the concern through policy.  The Board asked that WHRC then submit the draft policy to the Board for their review and approval.  Gladys Burbank from the Washington Federation of State Employees thanked the Board for providing guidance to WHRC and welcomed efforts to assist seasonal state employees.


2.         Advice Request No. 03-2-1017-027 (Investments by Washington State Investment Board (WSIB) Members - Executive Director, Brian Malarky, provided a background summary regarding the use by WSIB members of private Sharebuilder Accounts and Managed Accounts.  After discussion, the Board consensus was that WSIB members who want to participate in Sharebuilder and Managed Accounts with $10,000.00 or more, must follow WSIB's rules for monthly reporting.  Vice-Chair Scarbrough asked that future drafts include the original question posed.

3.         Informal Advice Request No. 03-2-1001-030 (Clarification of Textbook Opinion) Review of Informal Analysis - Executive Director, Brian Malarky, provided a background summary regarding informal advice provided to Robert Loomis, Paralegal Program Coordinator for Spokane Community College.  After discussion, the Board unanimously agreed that they supported the analysis provided in number 2 and 3, but not number 1.  Sentence two in paragraph two is incorrect regarding "exceeds 30 days from receipt".  Board members asked Mr. Malarky to not provide informal advice on every caveat brought to his attention, rather, the Board asks that agencies draft policies for Board review.  Mr. Malarky indicated he would re-issue his informal advice accordingly.

BREAK          10:45 a.m.

RESUMED    10:56 a.m.

4.         Informal Advice Request No. 03-2-1030-036 (Links to a Private Organization Webpage) - Executive Director, Brian Malarky, provided a background summary regarding whether the Home Care Quality Authority may maintain a direct link to private non-governmental websites that may, from time-to-time advocate for, or against, a ballot initiative or political candidate?  In addition, may the Home Care Quality Authority provide a direct link to a webpage that provides non-political information on a website that is maintained by a private non-governmental organization that advocates for, or against, a ballot initiative or political candidate?  Chair Vaché thanked Mr. Malarky for bringing this issue before the Board.  Chair Vaché indicated he was inclined to think the overall analysis is correct.  However, if the Board were to issue an advisory opinion it should be on a more general basis and not to focus specific examples.  After discussion, the Board asked Mr. Malarky to bring broadly drafted opinion to the January meeting. 

            Chair Vaché made motion to move agenda items D and E for discussion now and then go into executive or closed session.  There were no objections.

D.        Staff Report

            1. Review and Update Board Strategic Plan - Chair Vaché asked that before we discussed the strategic plan that we address Member Field's departure.  Effective November 30, 2003, Member Field's membership terminates.  Mr. Malarky announced that the Governor officially moved Vice Chair Scarbrough from the Attorney General Nominee position to the Exempt state employee position due to Vice Chair Scarbrough's recent hire as staff attorney for the Washington State School Director's Association.  In addition, Trish Akana, will join the Board effective November 30, 2003 to fill the classified state employee position that Member Fields is vacating.  Board members and staff thanked Member Fields for her dedication and service and expressed sadness on her departure.  Chair Vaché wants to recognize Member Fields service during the February 2004 Board meeting.  It was noted that the Attorney General Nominee position is now open.  Strategic Plan - After discussion, the Board asked that Board staff re-identify issues and prioritize plan, providing details.  In addition, the Board asked that Mr. Malarky draft a letter for Chair Vaché's signature to the Attorney General and the State Auditor regarding the sense of urgency to address eliminate duplicative efforts in investigating allegations of ethics violations.

2.         Letter to Governor Locke - Board Membership

3.         Letter to Code Reviser - 2004 Meeting Schedule

4.         Copy of Denial Letter to Mr. Bidstrup

5.         Budget update - no documents available, brief discussion

6.         Case status update and review - Board members and Board staff agreed to reporting case status on a quarterly basis versus monthly.

E.         Public Comment/Board Member Comments


C.        Executive or Closed Session - At 12:00 p.m., the Board moved into closed and executive session to consider complaints against public officials and to discuss pending litigation with counsel.  The Board, Board Counsel, and Board Staff attended the executive session.  The Board then moved into closed session to deliberate on quasi-judicial matters.  Assistant Attorney General, Jean Wilkinson and Administrative Law Judge, Adam Torem attended the closed session along with the Board and Board Counsel.

After reconvening the public session at 1:10 p.m. the Board announced that it had denied a motion for reconsideration in EEB Case No. 00-36 regarding Sherry Powell.

F.         Miscellaneous Matters/Adjournment - Meeting adjourned at 1:15 p.m.