June 11, 1999


The Executive Ethics Board convened in Regular Session at 10:30 a.m., at the Lee Ann Miller AGO Conference Center, 4224 6th Avenue SE, Building 1, Lacey, Washington 98504.


        Present:        Janet Lim, Chair

                             Cheryl Rohret, Vice Chair

Gwendolyn Foyd, Board Member

Paul Gillie, Board Member



Also Present:       Meg Grimaldi, Executive Secretary

William Collins, Legal Counsel

Patti Hurn, EEB Clerk




       a.  ROLL CALL. 

       Chair Lim, Vice Chair Rohret, Board Members Gillie and Foyd were present.  Board Member Basu had an excused absence.  Also present were Executive Secretary Meg Grimaldi, Counsel Bill Collins, and Board Clerk Patti Hurn. 




       The Board unanimously approved the agenda as drafted.



Board member Foyd moved to approve the minutes of the May 14, 1999 meeting.  Vice Chair Rohret seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.



       a.  Draft Advisory Opinion 98-10 relating to receipt of door prizes.  Ms. Grimaldi briefed the revised draft advisory opinion based on the Board’s direction at the May 1999 meeting.  Discussion followed.  Chair Lim requested the words “or other drawings” be included in three separate places to ensure the opinion addressed all drawings.  Vice Chair Rohret noted that there was no reference to the prohibition against the use of state business cards to enter drawings and requested appropriate language be included.  Gail Swanson, Employment Security, requested further clarification on what could be accepted if a state employee attended an event purely in his or her personal capacity, even if the conference were related to the employee’s official duties.  Ms. Grimaldi agreed that further revisions were required.  The Board requested that Staff revise the advisory opinion for review at the July meeting.

       b.  Draft Advisory Opinion 99-05 relating to receipt of an award by the Attorney General.     Mr. Collins briefed the Board on a legal analysis of the issues relating to a determination of whether the Attorney General could retain a $25,000 cash award that accompanied her selection as the grand prize winner in the “Good Housekeeping Award for Women in Government Contest.”  In discussing his legal analysis of the application of RCW 42.52.130 to the award, Mr. Collins noted for the public record that his written analysis contained an error in that “reasonable travel and subsistence expenses” were misidentified as an honorarium.  Mr. Collins noted that these expenses fell within the gift exemptions under RCW 42.52.010(10), and the gift limitations for “Section 4” employees under RCW 42.52.150(4).  Discussion followed with the Board considering arguments under RCW 42.52.010(10)(j) and RCW 42.52.130. 


       Board Member Gillie moved to respond to the request by informing the Attorney General that,    after consideration of the materials and the provisions of the state’s ethics law, the Board determined that there is no reason for her not to accept the award from Good Housekeeping.         Board Member Foyd seconded the motion.  Discussion on the motion followed.  The

       motion was defeated by a vote of 3 to 1. 


       The Board unanimously agreed that the Good Housekeeping Award was given for merit in government service, and that such an award should be allowed under the state’s ethics law.  Chair Lim expressed her concern that the statute allowed acceptance of awards for academic or scientific achievement, but not for merit.  Ms. Grimaldi offered that, given the language of the statute, RCW 42.52.010(10)(j) could not be interpreted to include an award for merit, and that the issue was likely to be resolved only by a change in the statute. 


       Chair Lim called for a short recess at 12:00 p.m.  Board Member Gillie left the meeting.


Resumption of Regular Meeting

       The meeting resumed at 12:22 p.m.  Discussion continued.  Public comments were made by Ms. Gail Swanson, Department of Employment Security, and Mr. Mike O’Connell, Legislative Ethics Board.


       The consensus of the Board was that the Attorney General could not accept the $25,000 cash award that accompanied her selection as grand prize winner of the Good Housekeeping Women in Government Contest.  The Board requested that its decision be conveyed to the Attorney General immediately, with an advisory opinion to be issued at a later date.



       Stipulation and Order in EEB Case No. 99-02.  Ms. Grimaldi presented the proposed Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 99-02 resolving allegations that Mr. Frederick Bletson, Jr., improperly used state resources, including e-mail and the Internet, for purposes unrelated to his official duties, in violation of college policy, WAC 292-110-010, and RCW 42.52.160(1).


       The Board unanimously approved the Stipulation and Order in EEB Case No. 99-02,

       with the following modification to the first sentence under IV,1.: “subject to payment in full of       the civil penalty owed in the amount of $500.00.”


STAFF BRIEFING.  Ms. Grimaldi responded there were no staff issues.


PUBLIC COMMENTS/BOARD COMMENTS.  No further public comments were offered.


EXECUTIVE SESSION.  Chair Lim called the Board into Executive Session to discuss Board enforcement actions.  The Executive Session convened at 12:45 p.m. and ended at 1:02 p.m.  Mr. Collins stepped into the hall and ascertained that no one was waiting.


ADJOURNMENT.  The public meeting adjourned at 1:03 p.m.


                                                                         Approved by the Executive Ethics Board



                                                                         PATTI HURN, Executive Ethics Board Clerk


                                                                         Date:  _________________________________