Regular Meeting Minutes
October 11, 2002 at 10:30 A. M.
Conference Room 148
2425 Bristol Ct SW 1st Floor
B. Stipulation and Orders
1. Proposed Stipulation and Order in EEB Case 01-64 (Schifferns), EEB Case 01-70 (Humphrey), and EEB Case 01-71 (Webinger) - Board staff briefed three proposed stipulation and order to the Board in this matter, which was based on a referral from the Public Disclosure Commission. The complaint alleges that some twenty-one members of the Community Colleges of Spokane faculty used state provided computers or state provided internet access to send an email message regarding community college faculty salaries and retirement plan funding to at least thirty state representatives. The subject of the email was also the subject of several bills under active consideration by the legislature at that time. Board staff is proposing resolution by a stipulation and order that imposes civil penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25.00).
2. Stipulation and Order in EEB Case 01-91 (Warner) Board staff briefed a proposed stipulation and order to the Board in this matter. The complaint was received from the Public Disclosure Commission and involved Dan Warner, a Western Washington University faculty member, who used state resources to support his campaign for elected office as Commissioner for the Port of Bellingham and to conduct private consulting activity. In the agreement Dr. Warner admitted that his conduct violated RCW 42.52.180 and RCW 42.52.160 but noted that he was unaware the Ethics Act prohibited using state resources for his private consulting work. Recognizing that he is personally responsible for his conduct, Dr. Warner agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500.00). If accepted, the Board would agree to suspend two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) of this amount on the condition that Dr. Warner complies with all the terms and conditions of this Stipulation and Order and commits no further violations of chapter 42.52 RCW.
Dr. Warner addressed the Board and apologized for his actions. The Board members asked several questions about the existence of documents related to any University imposed discipline. Dr. Warner indicated that those documents were lost in a recent fire at the University.
Results - After considering the matter in closed session, the Board accepted the stipulation and order as proposed and signed an order to that effect.
C. Requests for Advice
1. Advisory Opinion Request # 02-2-0411-59, Use of State Facilities to Gamble – The Executive Director presented a second draft advisory opinion addressing the use of state resources to gamble. Board members asked several questions and made several minor changes. So that Member Scarbrough can review the final draft, Board staff will incorporate suggested changes and return bring a draft opinion to the November meeting.
2. Draft Advisory Opinion Request # 02-2-0611-105, Use of State Facilities to Support Private Charities/FAQ Revisions – The Executive Director presented a second draft of several proposed changes to AOP 02-02, the FAQ’s. On July 12, 2002, the Board reviewed a staff memorandum regarding the "de minimis" use of state resources to support charitable activities. Based on that review, the Board asked staff to draft several Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) revisions that would: (1) clarify the authority given to state agency heads under the "de minimis" use rule; and (2) clarify the Board’s rules regarding solicitation of private businesses on behalf of charitable organizations.
Randy Ryan, Combined Fund Drive (CFD) Program Manager, addressed the Board. The Board members asked several questions regarding CFD and the use of state resources to promote an outside business. So that Member Scarbrough can review the final draft, Board staff will incorporate suggested changes and return a draft opinion to the November meeting.
3. Advisory Opinion Request # 01-2-1221-248, Use of State Facilities, including the Internet, to Access State Benefits - The Executive Director presented an initial memorandum addressing the use of state resources to access state benefits. Board members asked several questions and asked for a draft advisory opinion that broadly addresses using the internet to access state benefits. In addition, the board asked the staff to draft an opinon that did not require state agencies to allow a personal use of the internet before allowing state employees to access the internet to update state benefits.
D. Policy Reviews
Policy Review No. 02-6-0605-87, Department of Printing "Outside Employment" policy - Motion was made, seconded and passed to approve this policy as presented.
The Board took a short break from 12:36 p.m. until 12:50 p.m. When the meeting reconvened the Executive Director requested an additional an agenda item – The nomination of officers for 2003. Motion was made, seconded and passed to add the nomination of officers for 2003 to the agenda.
E. Staff Report
1. Scheduling of Pending Public Hearings and Brief Adjudicative Hearings – Chair Fields appointed Member Vaché as the hearing officer for Spokane Community College cases. Chair Fields will act as hearing officer for EEB Case 99-39 (Jansen).
2. Budget update - The Executive Director briefed the status of the Board’s Budget. The current expenditures remain about $5,000 less budgeted, which will leave money to retain additional staff. However, if a large expenditure related to a specific case occurs that will cause a loss in supplemental staffing or training.
3. Case status update – The Executive Director briefed the status of the Board’s Case backlog. The Board staff was able to significantly reduce the backlog in July through September of this year. Nevertheless, the pace of incoming cases means that the backlog will still exceed 12 to 14 months.
5. COGEL/Washington State Ethics Conference - The Executive Director passed out a brochure for the 2002 Statewide Ethics Conference, which will be held on December 3, 2002 in Western Washington.
At 1:12 p.m., the Board convened in executive session to consider complaints against a public official(s) and to discuss pending litigation with counsel. Chair Fields, Member Vaché, and Zellinsky; Counsel to the Board Jean Wilkinson; Executive Director Brian Malarky; Ethics Investigator, Sue Jones; Training and Information Specialist, Debbie O’Dell; and Intern, Cynthia Castanares were present. At 1:30 p.m., Ms. Jones, Ms. Castanares and Ms. O’Dell left the executive session.
At 1:50 p.m., the Board convened in closed session to consider proposed stipulations and orders. Chair Fields; Members Vaché, and Zellinsky; and Counsel to the Board Jean Wilkinson were present.