The Executive Ethics Board convened in Regular Session at at the Lee Ann Miller AGO ConferenceCenter, 4224
6th Avenue SE, Building 1, Lacey,
CherylRohret, Vice Chair
GwendolynFoyd, Board Member
PaulGillie, Board Member
SutapaBasu, Board Member
Also Present:MegGrimaldi, Executive Secretary
WilliamCollins, Legal Counsel
PattiHurn, EEB Clerk
1. PRELIMINARY BUSINESS.
Chair Lim, Vice Chair Rohret, Board
Members Gillie, Foyd and Basu were present.Also
Present were Executive Secretary Meg Grimaldi, Counsel
and Board Clerk Patti Hurn.
b.APPROVAL OF AGENDA.
Ms.Grimaldi requested the agenda be amended to
include discussion of a request for an advisory opinion received from the
was approved as amended.
c.APPROVAL OF MINUTES FROM
REGULAR MEETING ON APRIL 9, 1999.
Board member Foyd moved to
approve the minutes of the April
9, 1999 meeting.Vice
Chair Rohret seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.
2.REQUESTS FOR ADVISORY OPINIONS.
a.Draft Advisory Opinion 98-10 relating to receipt of door prizes.Ms.Grimaldi briefed staff’s version of the
revised draft advisory opinion.She
attempted to reconcile the positions of counsel and staff on the question of
whether door prizes are gifts, giving weight to the Board’s view that a strict
interpretation of RCW 42.52.150(1) would not serve the purposes of the ethics
law in circumstances where a door prize is received under circumstances that
are clearly unrelated to the performance of official duties, or to the fact
that the recipient is a state employee.
Mr.Collins briefed an alternative draft
advisory opinion.Mr.Collins also noted the possibility that RCW
42.52.020 could limit the receipt of door prizes by certain state officers or
state employees, if it was determined that acceptance conflicted with the
performance of official duties.Discussion followed.Chair Lim
stated that she was troubled by the use of state business cards to enter
drawings.Board member Basu agreed with
Chair Lim, and also offered that any advisory opinion on door prizes should
consider whether a state agency paid consideration for attendance at an event,
and whether state time was used to attend.Board members achieved consensus on key issues, including (1) if state
employees pay to attend event and do so on their own time, then a door prize
would belong to the state employee; (2) if the agency pays for attendance
and/or state time is used to attend an event, then the agency determines
disposition of a door prize; and, (3) state employees should not use state
business cards or fill out forms to enter door prize contests.
were made by HarveyGertson,
The consensus of the Board was to
revise opinion and continue discussion at the June
b.Draft Advisory Opinion 99-04 relating to the operation of a spouse’s
business within a facility supervised by her husband.Ms.Grimaldi briefed this revised draft advisory
opinion, which incorporated restrictions under RCW 42.52.050 to the opinion and
analysis sections. The new additions are
unanimously approved Advisory Opinion 99-04 as revised.
c.[Amended Item] Office of the Attorney General.Ms.Grimaldi reviewed the Attorney General’s
request for an advisory opinion on whether the Attorney General may accept a
cash award that accompanies her selection as the grand prize winner in the
“Good Housekeeping Award for Women in Government Contest.”Discussion followed.
Ms.Grimaldi requested comments from the Board
members by the end of May, to provide a basis for a draft advisory opinion at
the June meeting.
Ms.Grimaldi reviewed the Washington State
Ferries Ethics Policy on Cellular Phone Use.
She recommended approval of the policy with the addition of
incorporating references to WAC 292-110-010(4), which prohibits certain uses of
state resources.Board member Gillie
asked that special attention be paid to the restrictions on campaign use under
RCW 42.52.180.Board member Rohret
expressed her disagreement with the conclusion that shore-based personnel were
assigned to remote locations, and added that there should be no reimbursement
policy for these employees.Board
members indicated their consensus with Ms.Rohret’s position.Board member Basu added her concern that
simply requiring people to log their calls on paper was not likely to be
effective.Instead, she suggested that
WSF pursue the possibility of each crewmember receiving a unique number that is
entered prior to a cell phone call.In
this way, accountability for personal calls would be ensured.Public comment was made by HarveyGertson.
consensus was that staff should send a letter to WSF outlining its concerns.
called for a short recess at Board Member Gillie left the meeting.
briefed on the following issues:
PDC Declaratory Ruling. On April 20th, the
Public Disclosure Commission conducted a hearing on a petition by the University
of Washington for declaratory
opinions on three issues.Two of these
issues may bear some relevance to the gift limitations under RCW 42.52.140 and
RCW 42.52.150, as the PDC decided that gift monies or discretionary funds did
not constitute public funds for the purposes of RCW 42.17.190.The PDC’s Declaratory Order is expected at
the Commission’s meeting on June 29,
1999.Staff proposed that
further discussion on this issue be continued until the July 30th
Review of Legislative Amendments to Whistleblower Law. Senate
Bill 2005 amended the state’s Whistleblower laws and provides a number of
changes, including the establishment of criteria for evaluating complaints,
improvement of due process for all parties to investigations, and the addition
of clarifying definitions.The
amendments would also provide a one-year statute of limitations on asserted
actions.Ms.Grimaldi noted this limitation could impact
the state’s ethics boards, which have a five-year statute of limitations, in
that there may be a greater number of direct referrals from the State Auditor’s
Ethics Conference. The 3rd annual state ethics conference will be
held in Seattle at
the Washington Convention and TradeCenter
on June 25, 1999.
Presentation by MichaelDaigneault,
President, EthicsResourceCenter.Ms. Grimaldi invited Board members
and other interested parties to attend the June 1st meeting of the
Puget Sound Network for Ethics Business Conduct, which will feature Michael
Daigneault, President of the Ethics Resource Center, as it guest speaker.Mr. Daigneault is a frequent speaker to
legal, business, associations, nonprofit and government groups on the
importance of ethics and virtues in the workplace and life.The meeting is scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to
1:30 p.m. in the 5th Floor Conference Room at the Bank of California
Building, 900 Fourth Avenue, in Seattle.
COMMENTS.There were no additional
comments from the public or the Board Members.
SESSION.Chair Lim called the Board
into Executive Session to discuss Board enforcement actions.The Executive Session convened at 12:25 p.m.
and ended at 12:35 p.m.Mr. Collins
stepped into the hall and ascertained that no one was waiting.
resumed.The regular meeting resumed
at 12:36 p.m., with further
discussion on the statute of limitations under the amended
ADJOURNMENT.The public meeting adjourned at 12:45