EXECUTIVE ETHICS BOARD
REGULAR BOARD MEETING MINUTES
The Executive Ethics Board convened in Regular Session at , at the Lee Ann Miller AGO
1. PRELIMINARY BUSINESS
ROLL CALL Chair Lim, Vice Chair Rohret, Board Members Gillie, and
Basu were present. Board Member Foyd was
absent. Also present were Executive
Secretary Meg Grimaldi,
b. APPROVAL OF AGENDA The Board unanimously approved the agenda as drafted.
c. APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM
REGULAR MEETING ON
Rohret moved to approve the
2. REQUESTS FOR ADVISORY OPINION
Draft Advisory Opinion 98-10 - Request relating to receipt of door
Vice Chair Rohret moved to approve Advisory Opinion 98-10 as amended. Board Member Basu seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved Advisory Opinion 98-10.
Draft Advisory Opinion 99-05 - Request relating to receipt of an award
for excellence in government.
Vice Chair Rohret moved to approve Advisory Opinion 99-05 as amended. Board Member Basu seconded the motion and the Board agreed unanimously.
Draft Advisory Opinion 99-06 - Request relating to outside compensation
for expert testimony. This request
concerned the question of whether a state employee could provide expert advice and testimony in
Mr. Bartleson commented on the wonderful work Ms. Grimaldi did on his advisory opinion request.
Board Member Gillie also thanked Ms. Grimaldi for her affirmative and prompt response to the request and for a job well done.
Board Member Basu moved to approve Advisory Opinion 99-06. Vice Chair Rohret seconded the motion and the Board approved unanimously.
a. EEB Case Nos. 97-17 & 97-26 - Mr. Collins reviewed a draft letter of direction to the lieutenant governor regarding RCW 42.52.180. This letter was a part of the Stipulation and Order in EEB Case Nos. 97-17 & 97-26. Mr. Collins suggested the following revisions to the draft letter:
Page 1 - 1st paragraph, last sentence, put a period after the word "proposition" and delete the words "under RCW 42.52.180." Add heading to read, RCW 42.52.180 prohibits using the facilities of an agency to assist a campaign.
Page 2 - 1st paragraph, after 3rd sentence add heading to read: Exceptions to facilities of an agency that apply to the lieutenant governor
2nd paragraph, last sentence should read as follows: It would be a violation for the Lieutenant Governor to use a state vehicle to assist a campaign if the vehicle was not part of security provided by the WSP.
Page 3 - 1st paragraph, 1st sentence, add the following words after the word "proposition": including a direct appeal for votes. Also, in the first sentence the word "has" should be "as". This addition and correction was requested by Chair Lim.
After the 1st paragraph, add the following heading: A measure becomes a ballot proposition when it is filed with the appropriate elections officer.
After the 3rd paragraph, add the following heading: The lieutenant governor may respond to inquiries on any ballot proposition without an actual measurable expenditure of public funds. Mr. Collins suggested that the Board adopt the definition of a ballot proposition that appears under RCW 42.17.020(3).
Page 4 - Add the following heading after the 1st paragraph: Activities that constitute normal and regular conduct of the lieutenant governor are permissible.
Page 6 - Add the following heading after 2nd paragraph: If a ballot proposition falls within the lieutenant governor's constitutional or statutory responsibilities, he may make de minimis use of public facilities to initiate comments about his views.
Page 7 - 2nd paragraph, 3rd sentence, add the following words after the word "communication”, on a ballot proposition that falls within his constitutional or statutory responsibilities"
Chair Lim called for a short recess at 12:05 p.m. Board Member Gillie left the meeting.
REGULAR MEETING RESUMED - The regular meeting resumed at 12:19 p.m. Before continuing with further discussion on the draft Letter of Direction, Ms Grimaldi requested that agenda item 4. POLICY REVIEW, be advanced on the agenda. The Board agreed to Ms. Grimaldi's request.
4. POLICY REVIEW
a. Office of the Governor - Ms. Grimaldi reviewed the ethics policy submitted by the Office of the Governor, regarding the Use of Public Resources for Campaign Purposes. This policy applies to employees of the Governor's Office and provides guidance on permissible and impermissible activities under RCW 42.52.180. Special attention is given to providing explanations of permissible activities as they relate to the "normal and regular conduct" of the Office of the Governor, and the preparation of permissible communications. Ms. Grimaldi recommended Board approval of the policy and guidelines. She also introduced Mr. Everett Billingslea, General Counsel, to answer any questions the Board might have. The Board had no questions of Mr. Billingslea, but Chair Lim commented on the very effective chart that was submitted with the policy. The other Board Members agreed with Chair Lim.
Board Member Basu moved to approve the July 15, 1999 Ethics Policy on Use of Public Resources for Campaign Purposes for the Office of the Governor. Vice Chair Rohret seconded the motion and the Board approved unanimously.
b. Washington State Public Works Board - Ms. Grimaldi reviewed four ethics policies submitted by the Washington State Public Works Board. The first policy establishes disclosure and recusal requirements to address potential conflicts arising under RCW 42.52.030(1) and (3). The Board's policies on disclosure and recusal conform to the Model Rules proposed under Advisory Opinions 96-09 and 96-09A. The remaining ethics policies establish guidelines for post-state employment restrictions, acceptance of honoraria, and assisting in transactions. These policies are consistent with the provisions of RCW 42.52.080, RCW 42.52.130, and RCW 42.52.040. Ms. Grimaldi introduced Mr. Pete Butkus, Executive Director of the WA State Public Works Board and Board Member Kati Isaksen. Mr. Butkus provided information and discussed concerns about the effect of recusal on the four citizens who serve on the Board. Discussion followed.
Ms. Grimaldi suggested that the Public Works request be considered at a later meeting as two separate issues, approval of the ethics policies and consideration of specific questions relating to conflicts of interest in an advisory opinion.
Vice Chair Rohret moved to approve the Public Works Board policies. Board Member Basu seconded the motion. Discussion followed. Mr. Butkus stated that he preferred the Board to table action on the ethics policies pending an advisory opinion, because the opinion could result in changes to the proposed policies. The Board agreed and requested this item be carried forward to the September meeting.
3. SETTLEMENT/HEARINGS, RESUMED
a. EEB Case Nos. 97-17 & 97-26 continued. Page 5 - 3rd paragraph - Mr. Collins explained that this paragraph would not prevent the Lieutenant Governor from giving a copy of his response to a member of the legislature or anyone else if specifically requested.
The Board agreed that revisions to the letter of direction would be mailed out prior to the September meeting and, if no substantive changes were required by the Board, the letter of direction would be issued.
b. EEB Case No. 97-14 - Ms. Grimaldi presented the proposed Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 97-14 resolving allegations that Mr. Greg Gourley improperly used his state position and use of state resources for the benefit of a personal business under RCW 42.52.020, RCW 42.52.070 and RCW 42.52.160(1).
c. EEB Case No. 98-07 - Ms. Grimaldi presented the proposed Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 98-07 resolving allegations that Dr. Marilyn C. Roberts misused state resources in support of her private consulting work, and by failing to obtain approval for her consulting work as required by university policy under RCW 42.52.160(1), WAC 292-110-010(4) and RCW 42.52.120(1).
STAFF BRIEFING - Ms. Grimaldi briefed the Board on the following issues:
Web Site - Additions to the web site include Frequently Asked Questions (at the suggestion of Board Member Gillie); a revised subject index to the advisory opinions that includes the full text of questions directed to the Board. DIS Interactive Technologies is also moving forward with development of an Internet-based ethics training game, Ethosaurus. The game will be available in text only and animated formats, and will be accessible to both state employees and members of the public. Scheduled completion of the project is the first week of October. Ms. agreed to have a computer available for the Board to view the game at its October meeting.
Annotated Ethics Law - An annotated version of the state's ethics law is available by contacting the Ethics Office. This version is updated annually. It is also available in the AGO Public Folders.
COGEL Conference - Board members and attendees were provided with the tentative agenda of the COGEL Conference that will be held in Providence, Rhode Island, December 5-8, 1999. Selection of a board member to attend the conference is pending.
PUBLIC COMMENTS/BOARD COMMENTS
Gail Swanson with the Employment Security Department stated that while she strongly supports an ethics game, she was concerned about the inability of state employees to distinguish between “the Ethics game,” which employees could play, and other games, such as solitaire, which they cannot. Ms. Grimaldi agreed that the proposed “game” could be distinguished as an ethics training tool.
Chair Lim called the Board into Executive Session to discuss Board enforcement actions. The Executive Session convened at 1:10 p.m. and ended at 2:00 p.m. Mr. Collins stepped into the hall and ascertained that no one was waiting.
REGULAR MEETING WAS RESUMED - The Board approved the Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 97-14 with modifications. The Board approved the Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 98-07 without modifications.
Board members agreed to move future meetings to 1:00 p.m. to minimize disruptions caused by transportation problems in the Seattle area. They also discussed rescheduling the September Meeting to Thursday, September 16th, instead of September 10th, due to conflicting schedules. The Board agreed unanimously to the change in date and time for the September Meeting.
The public meeting adjourned at 2:05 p.m.
Approved by the Executive Ethics Board
PATTI HURN, Executive Ethics Board Clerk