May 10, 2002

The Executive Ethics Board convened in regular session at 10:32 a.m. at 2425 Bristol Ct SW in Olympia, WA


Laquita Fields, Chair

James Vaché, Member

Sutapa Basu, Member
Also Present:
Brian Malarky, Executive Director
Jean Wilkinson, Counsel to the Board
Sally Pearson, Paralegal
Debbie O’Dell, Human Resource Consultant
1. Preliminary Business
a. Roll Call
b. Approval of Agenda – move staff report to after advisory opinions to agenda item 8, solicit the Board to end meetings with staff report, add update to COGEL conference, update to briefing to Governor’s office, added an agenda item (voter’s pamphlet)
c. Approval of April 12, 2002 Meeting Minutes – changes to page one and page 6 (see notes). Member Basu moved, Member Vaché seconded.
2. Staff Report
a. Status of vacant positions – Board members candidates meeting with Governor, moving ahead with investigator interviews with a hope to have someone hired by June 15, brought in Sally Pearson and an Admin Intern
b. Retreat
c. Budget
d. Case update
Mr. Malarky updated Board regarding COGEL and presentation to Governor’s office.

3. Policy Review - Department of Retirement Systems' "Electronic Communications Systems"

Mr. Malarky promised to put on website as a model and add a button to include all approved agency policies. Approved proposed policy only to what we have jurisdiction over, moved to adopt by Member Vaché and Member Basu seconded.

4. Draft Advisory Opinion # 01-2-1030-251 (02-0X), Use Of State Resources To Distribute Newspaper Articles And Editorials
Executive Director, Brian Malarky, presented this opinion.
Member Vaché – doesn’t address handling distribution internally and feels that needs to be explicit. On page 4, Member Vaché confused. Mr. Reinmuth, for clarification – Human Resource, collective bargaining, and issues regarding Public Records Act. Mr. Reinmuth concerned as well. Mr. Malarky stated that WSDOT shouldn’t be sending out externally issues that aren’t DOT related. Member Vaché disagrees. If OK to distribute internally, no reason why it can’t be distributed externally. Ms. Dalton commented – removed from list, and then if you want to receive, must submit an official request. Mr. Malarky doesn’t want other agencies to use this opinion as a way to distribute ad nausea info. Member Vaché stated, "Who cares?". Mr. Reinmuth reminded the Board that they are empowered to adopt de minimis and .160 does allow exceptions if does not interfere with an agencies public duty. Ms. Wilkinson suggested that we explicitly address the highlighted sentence on page 4.
Member Vaché – the questions are:
Does the agency have the authority to distribute to employees? Yes, then they can distribute to whomever they want. Member Basu agrees with Member Vaché, why should there be a distinction. Chair Fields agrees and since Ms. Wilkinson has some suggestions, Mr. Malarky please work with her.
Mr. Reinmuth – since they requested the opinion that the Board go on record that _____
More important, on page 6 the word "discuss" needs to be changed to "support or oppose".
Ms. Wilkinson – agrees that this is a policy decision the Board needs to make. Support or oppose also does not address the concern.
Member Vaché – doesn’t like "could violate" – either you do or you don’t. Also likes "support or oppose".
Ms. Wilkinson – suggests "discussion that tends to support or oppose" and the "would" violate.
Mr. Reinmuth – needs guidance, request came in October and as each month goes by, getting closer to elections.
Ask for guidance on their safe harbor in the meantime.
Member Vaché would like to go with "tends" and "would" and stay within those guidelines, would be in compliance with the law.
Page 7, item 3 – wrong heading
If ok internally, ok externally (example, collective bargaining issue to office staff, ok to send externally.
Break at 11:40
Back at 11:45
Added agenda item – voter pamphlet statements
Mr. Malarky - informal discussion (see email). Member Vaché feels that since the Secretary of State has the authority to appoint and that sanctions the use of state resources. Member Vaché has no problem, Member Basu agrees.

5…Draft Advisory Opinion # 01-2-0116-239 (02-0X), Conflicts Between The Regulatory And Proprietary Functions Of The Department Of Natural Resources

Executive Director, Brian Malarky, presented this opinion.

Member Vaché ok with opinion. Notes on page 3, heading 2, incorrect pronoun "…for whom "you"…" should be "it" or "one" . Mr. Malarky likes "one".

Member Vaché moved, Member Basu seconded.

6. Draft Advisory Opinion # 02-2-0221-28 (02-0X), State Agency Officers Or Employees Who Hold Leadership Positions With A Private Non-Profit Organization Composed Of Individuals And Groups Who Contract With The Agency

Executive Director, Brian Malarky, presented this opinion.

Gary Cooper – SW Region Manager, does not own the land.

Member Vaché favors a modified third approach.

Chair Fields favors second approach.

Member Vaché would like to hear from those involved.

LouAnn – not appropriate to recuse from something they are paying the person to do.

Mr. Cooper – does not feel there is a conflict of interest, but wanted to make sure employees know what ethical conduct is and be aware and act accordingly.

Member Basu – does not see a conflict since a not-profit entity.

Member Vaché, approach one and two are the same (everyone agrees). Re-work third approach.

Member Vaché will send Mr. Malarky some additional information.

Mr. Cooper – good work.

7. Request for Advice # 02-2-0429-69, Proposed Rule Making - Expert Witness Contracts With Higher Education Employees

Executive Director, Brian Malarky, presented this memo from AAG Tom Wendel regarding. Suggests that the Board go to rule making to address.

Member Basu – receive compensation, must take leave, does that apply here too? Yes.

Motion to initiate CR101

Member Basu moved, Member Vaché seconded.

8. Public Comment/Board Member Comments


9. Executive Session
Start 12:40 p.m.
End 1:48 p.m.
10. Miscellaneous Matters/Adjournment
The Executive Ethics Board found no reasonable cause regarding EEB Case No.’s 00-43, 00-45, and 01-51.
Adjourned at 2:04 p.m.