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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 with 14 Comments »
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.

Leave a comment Comments → 14
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    I have no comment on the cases, but isn’t there a city lawyer that could sprinkle holy water on these sorts of things before they happen? In this day and age of media attention to the least detail, I sure would want to cover my butt….

  2. maybe they’re waiting now that they have new ethics complaints for the whole lying/cover Linnik thing ?

  3. Mr. Kamb,

    Has there ever been a ethics ruling by the Ethics Board in Tacoma that stated any City of Tacoma Employee had violated the rules? What actions can the Ethics Board take if it finds there were violations of the ethics code?

  4. As long as the party from whom the mayor got the miles was not compensated — and will not be compensated, it’s a blow off. Sure, she shouldn’t have done it, but what did she use the miles for? Did she pay for the ticket? Great! She saved the taxpayers some bucks. If she upgraded to first class, well she should have been in first class already.

    The city manager’s case is simple. He needs to resign his board seat and anything that has been done with that group needs to be annulled.

  5. So whats new?

  6. Time and again, the city runs into all kinds of expensive trouble that could have been avoided by some competent legal advice (hrrrmph clearchannel cough). I’m all for new urbanism and 21st century planning but it’s pretty clear to me that the first thing Tacoma needs is a couple of decent lawyers on the payroll.

  7. John Hathaway says:

    Lewis,

    Did you notice your link to the CM’s report ends in mid sentence?

  8. I don’t know about Anderson, it sound pretty fishy but in Strickland’s case its slam dunk. She was trying to save the city some money by using frequent fflyer miles. If the stupid council members hadn’t gotten in the way she would have succeeded too. Now the city has to pay out of pocket for the trip. It also has to pay for this stupid investigation. Shame on you people who voted for this. You succeeded in wasting the city’s money – again.

  9. coopersmith says:

    John Hathaway (the new Takhoman) did you notice that your news career is based on the breaking of one story? When are you going to take you’re drowns out of here and find a new career? You website and reporting is so one-sided that you have no ethos to your viewpoints.

  10. @coopersmith do you understand the nature of gadflies ?

  11. John Hathaway says:

    I know who you are, that person who worked at MLKHDA.

  12. Coopersmith is one of the Ebersoles or Quincey Walker or Felix Flannigan himself, or somebody who gained GREATLY by them.

    She or he hates that Hathaway brought out the the $2 million or so missing. She or he may be an object of a FBI investigation.

  13. Hey coopersmith!

    Who’s your daddy?

    Felix Flannigan.

  14. Sounds like the miles saved the city some money. Awarding the pension investment contract to the same firm for which Anderson sits on the board doesn’t pass the “sniff” test. If they let him off the hook on that, I hope the committee details his involvment or lack thereof. The City must have used a consultant. It would be interesting to know how “independent” the consultant was or if there was some connection between the consultant, Anderson and the investment firm.

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