As we reported in February, Tacoma dismissed an ethics complaint against former Public Assembly Facilities Director Mike Combs after a review found he did not violate Tacoma’s ethics code when he worked last year to seek a publicly-funded study about the Tacoma Dome.
Now comes the unsurprising sequel to that dismissal: A finding that Mayor Marilyn Strickland didn’t violate the ethics code either.
The twin complaints against Combs and Strickland, filed by local gadfly John Hathaway, were prompted by a News Tribune story that misstated part of the city’s ethics code that prohibits former employees’ participation in certain city matters.
Under code revisions made in March 2011 – before Combs retired – a prohibition that had applied broadly to all former employees, whether paid or unpaid for such participation, was changed so that the code applied only to those former employees who are paid.
After a city investigator found that Combs was not paid for his Dome efforts, the ethics board determined he wasn’t subject to ethics rules. Earlier this month, the board followed up on that ruling by also absolving Strickland of any violation of the city’s ethics rules. Strickland, at Combs’ and others’ urging, announced a plan last September to study whether the Dome could support a professional basketball or hockey team.