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Tacoma: Ethics board reaches conclusions on complaints against mayor, city manager

Post by Lewis Kamb / The News Tribune on April 28, 2011 at 11:43 am |
April 28, 2011 11:43 am

Tacoma’s citizen Board of Ethics met late Wednesday and announced it had reached decisions on separate ethics complaints filed against Mayor Marilyn Strickland and City Manager Eric Anderson.

But the board didn’t announce what it has decided. The panel will issue written findings at a later, unspecified date.

“Regarding those complaints, the fact-finding process has concluded, we have deliberated and we will be issuing a written order in the near future on all three of those complaints,” board chairman Sean Armentrout said during the meeting.

The complaints against Strickland center on whether she violated the provisions in the city’s ethics code that bar city officials and employees from accepting certain kinds of gifts.

Strickland used Lakewood businessman Ron Chow‘s frequent flier miles to cover her airfare expenses for a recent official business trip to Asia.  After The News Tribune ran a story about the trip, two citizens filed complaints with the board, triggering an ethics review.

Anderson’s complaint raises conflict-of-interest concerns over his ties to a nonprofit retirement corporation and a city committee’s recent decision to contract with the same firm to handle an employee pension plan.

The city’s Deferred Compensation Committee seeks to award a single-vendor contract with the International City/County Management Association Retirement Corporation to handle the city workers’ pension plan. Anderson has voluntarily served on the ICMA-RC’s directors’ board since 2004.

City Clerk Doris Sorum said today she expects it will take at least a week for the board to issue its written findings.

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