September 16, 1999


The Executive Ethics Board convened in Regular Session at 1:00 p.m., at the Office of the Attorney General, Highways Licenses Building, 1125 Washington Street SE, 7th Floor, Room 742, Olympia Washington 98504.


        Present:        Cheryl Rohret, Vice Chair

                             Gwendolyn Foyd, Board Member

Paul Gillie, Board Member

Sutapa Basu, Board Member


Also Present:       Meg Grimaldi, Executive Secretary

William Collins, Counsel

Patti Hurn, EEB Clerk




       a.  ROLL CALL

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



       Ms. Grimaldi requested the agenda be amended to indicate a correction on item 4 to read "HRPG" and to delete item 5b, Stipulation and Order 98-22.


       Board Member Foyd moved to approve the agenda as amended.  Board Member Basu seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved the agenda.



       Vice Chair Rohret noted two corrections to the minutes:  (1) the insertion of the word “opinion” before “expresses the Board’s view” in the last sentence of page 1; and (2) the insertion of the word “meeting” after the words “rescheduling the September” on page 5.


       Board Member Basu moved to approve the July 30, 1999 meeting minutes as amended.  Board Member Foyd seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.



       a.  Draft Advisory Opinion 99-07 - Request relating to conflict of interest. Ms. Grimaldi reviewed the draft advisory opinion which responded to three questions posed by the Public Works Board:  1) May Public Works Board members rely on Advisory Opinion 98-08 and recuse themselves from discussion and voting on matters on which there is no existing conflict of interest in order to preserve potential future business opportunities?  2) Does the fact that general public members of the Public Works Board or their employers must, by law, engage in competitive bidding or in competitive selection for public work projects, make members less susceptible to conflicts of interest under the state's ethics law?  3) To what extent are potential conflicts of interest issues mitigated by the fact that 80 percent of projects approved by the Public Works Board are subject to legislative review and approval?  This opinion concluded that the boards and commissions, including the Public Works Board, covered under RCW 42.52.903, could rely on Advisory Opinion 98-08 for guidance; that competitive selection and competitive bidding were not sufficient to overcome the prohibitions under RCW 42.52.030, and RCW 42.52.040; and, that legislative oversight does not mitigate conflicts of interest.


       Mr. Pete Butkus, Executive Director of the Public Works Board thanked the Board and its staff for their efforts.  Board Member Gillie thanked staff for their work.  


       Discussion followed.  Board members asked for the following 2 corrections to the draft advisory opinion: Page 1, number 3 under the Issues Section, delete "To what extent" and capitalize the "A" on "are."  The second correction was on Page 2, number 1 under the Analysis Section, 1st paragraph after the question, line 5, delete "a" and in line 6, delete "to" and add the word "is" in its place.


       Board Member Foyd moved to approve Advisory Opinion 98-07 as corrected.  Board Member Basu seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.


       b.  Draft Advisory Opinion 99-08 - Request relating to the application of RCW 42.52.190(1), to the automatic reinvestment of dividends from stock ownership.  Ms. Grimaldi reviewed the draft advisory opinion, which was requested by the State Investment Board.  This opinion responds to the following question: May a state officer or state employee responsible for the investment of public funds satisfy the obligation under RCW 42.52.190(2) to obtain approval for investments that exceed the $10,000 value threshold at acquisition if the employee makes a one-time disclosure of, and obtains approval for, his or her participation in an automatic reinvestment program?  Discussion followed. The following correction was made to the draft opinion: Under the Opinion Section, change the RCW reference to subsection (2).


       Board Member Foyd moved to approve Advisory Opinion 99-08 as corrected.  Board Member Basu seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.


3.  POLICY REVIEW - Washington State Public Works Board.

       Ms. Grimaldi reviewed proposed administrative rules that would provide guidance to Public Works board members and staff on disclosure and recusal to resolve conflicts of interest; policies for post-employment guidelines; acceptance of honoraria; and, assisting in transactions.  Ms. Grimaldi recommended Board approval of the policies.  Discussion followed. 


       Board Member Basu moved to approve policies.  Board Member Foyd seconded the motion and the Board unanimously approved.


4.  CONTRACT/OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT - Contract between Tacoma Community College and Human Resources Planning Group (HRPG).  Ms. Grimaldi reviewed the background and terms of the proposed contract between the Human Resources Planning Group (HRPG), a consulting business and Tacoma Community College.  Mr. Cary Randow, a partner with HRPG is also the state's compensation manager.  Ms. Grimaldi advised that there did not appear to be an actual conflict of interest involved in the contract, but that Board approval was sought based on Mr. Randow’s position with the state. 


       Mr. Randow explained his areas of official responsibility for the Department of Personnel and distinguished these from the work that would be performed under the contract with Tacoma Community College.  Board members Foyd and Basu asked questions concerning the classification of employees in institutions of higher education in the state.  Discussion followed. 


       Board Member Foyd moved to approve the contract between HRPG and Tacoma Community College.  Board Member Gillie seconded the motion.  Board member Basu abstained from voting.  The Board approved the contract with a majority vote.



       Prior to the presentation of proposed Stipulations, the Board agreed to defer deliberation on the Stipulations to the Executive Session.


       a.  EEB Case No. 97-14 – Assistant Attorney General Richard McCartan presented a proposed revised Stipulation and Order in EEB Case No. 97-14.  Under the Stipulation, the respondent would agree to pay investigative costs in the amount of $4000 and to settle allegations that he improperly used his state position and state resources for the benefit of his private business.


       b.  EEB Case No. 98-22.  Item deleted.


       c.  EEB Case No. 98-26 - Ms. Grimaldi presented the proposed Stipulation in EEB Case No. 98-26 that would resolve allegations that a state employee had used state resources to perform outside legal work.  The Stipulation proposed a letter of direction.


       d.  EEB Case No. 99-01 - Ms. Grimaldi presented the proposed Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 99-01 resolving allegations that state employee used of state resources to benefit a non-profit organization.  Under the Stipulation, the employee agreed to pay a civil penalty in the amount of $3000. 


STAFF BRIEFING - Ms. Grimaldi briefed the Board on the following issues:

       Internet-Based Ethics Training.  Due to continuing concerns about the EEB budget, the Attorney General's Office denied approval for the development of Internet-based ethics training.  Ms. Grimaldi stated that she was seeking alternatives to the DIS proposal, which might reduce the cost of the project to an amount the Attorney General's Office would approve.  Vice Chair Rohret expressed the Board’s strong support for moving ahead with the project.  Other board members agreed.


       Awards for Excellence in Government.  Ms Grimaldi briefed the Board on language in the federal ethics laws under 5 CFR 2635.204(d) that could provide as a basis for a legislative proposal to allow receipt of awards for meritorious service in government.  Mr. Collins suggested some alternatives that might include language based on RCW 42.52.130, Honoraria, and asked whether the Board was interested in pursuing a legislative amendment.  Board members Basu and Gillie endorsed the idea.  Vice Chair Rohret and Board member Foyd agreed.  Mr. Collins stated that he and staff would develop some proposed language for the Board to review at the October or November meeting.


       Calendar for Meetings in 2000.  The proposed calendar was submitted for the Board's review. Board members agreed that meetings would commence at 1:00 p.m. 


       Vice Chair Rohret and Board Member Basu both announced that they will be unable to attend the October Meeting.  Ms Grimaldi stated that unless we receive more meeting items for the October Meeting, she would propose canceling the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Friday, September 24, 1999.



       Ms. Gail Swanson, Employment Security Department, expressed concerns about the proposed Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 98-26.



       Vice Chair Rohret called the Board into Executive Session to discuss Board enforcement actions.  The Executive Session convened at 2:10 p.m. and ended at 3:30 p.m.  Mr. Collins stepped into the hall and ascertained that no one was waiting.


REGULAR MEETING RESUMED - The Board approved the Stipulation and Order for EEB Case No. 97-14 without modification.  The Board modified the Stipulation and Orders in EEB Case No. 98-26 and EEB Case No. 99-01, to include a requirement that both respondents attend ethics training conducted by the Board’s Executive Secretary within six months.


       Board Member Basu announced she would attend the COGEL Conference in December 1999.


       Ms Grimaldi announced that Mr. Stephen Smith, Department of Labor and Industries, said his agency may be able to contribute up to $5,000 to the Internet based ethics training.



       The public meeting adjourned at 3:35 p.m.


                                                                         Approved by the Executive Ethics Board



                                                                         MARGARET A. GRIMALDI, Executive Secretary


                                                                         Date:  _________________________________