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Tag: Tacoma Ethics Board


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

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

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Did Tacoma mayor’s trip to Asia violate ethics rules?

Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland says she was simply trying to avoid sticking the city with a bill for her recent travels abroad.

But by letting a Lakewood businessman cover her airfare, the mayor may have broken the city ethics code – and possibly state law.

Strickland, who returned Sunday from a 10-day trip to three Asian cities while on official city business, accepted businessman Ron Chow’s frequent flyer miles to cover her round-trip airfare costs.

Tacoma’s ethics code prohibits city officials from accepting gifts valued at more than $50 “for a matter connected with or related to the City official’s services with the City of Tacoma.”

Washington law also bars municipal officers from giving or taking “any compensation, gift, reward, or gratuity from a source except the employing municipality, for a matter connected with or related to the officer’s services as such an officer unless otherwise provided for by law.”

The travel web site, expedia.com, shows airfare costs for a similar 10-day trip from Sea-Tac Airport to the same destinations in South Korea and China that Strickland went to priced at $3,251.

Strickland said Monday she doesn’t see a potential ethics problem, saying the trip was taken for official city business.

“I didn’t get any personal gain or benefit out of it,” she said.
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Read the Boe ethics investigation

In this morning’s print edition, Lewis Kamb reported some of the fine print in the City of Tacoma’s ethics investigation into Councilman David Boe. The city’s Board of Ethics cleared Boe, a Tacoma architect, of conflict of interest for voting on bids for the renovation of Cheney Stadium, after he had worked without pay on designs for losing bidder Wade Perrow Construction. But the investigation released this week makes it clear that while there was no direct financial interest in the Cheney project, Bot has an extensive and ongoing business relationship with Perrow.

From the story:

Tacoma City

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Tacoma Ethics Board: More time needed on Boe complaint

After spending about two and a half hours in a closed-door session last night, the Tacoma Ethics Board determined it needed more time to review information before issuing its decision on an ethics complaint filed against Tacoma City Councilman David Boe.

David BoeEthics Board chairwoman Julie Myers said board members “have determined further information” must be obtained and reviewed before the panel can determine whether Boe violated any city ethics policies. Board members plan to convene again on Monday.

The ethics complaint centers on Boe’s ties to one of the losing bidders for the contract to revamp city-owned Cheney Stadium and whether he properly disclosed them. Online publisher John Hathaway filed the complaint in March based on coverage about the issue in The News Tribune. Hathaway filed this story as the basis for his complaint.

In this blog post yesterday, we wrote how emails recently obtained from the city show that some city officials, including City Attorney Elizabeth Pauli, knew details about Boe’s involvement with one of the bid teams long before it became an issue. Boe had sought advice about whether he needed to recuse himself from voting and discussing the ballpark contract issue, the emails show.

Ultimately, Boe did not disclose that he drew architectural renderings for a design-build team led by Wade Perrow Construction, or WPC, until just before the city council took a vote on awarding a contract for the ballpark project to another firm. City Manager Eric Anderson has said he only learned the details of Boe’s involvement with WPC just before the council meeting when the vote was taken. After Anderson said he became aware of Boe’s involvement with WPC, he advised the councilman to disclose the issue. Boe did so during the meeting, from the dais.

So far, the city has spent about $11,000 to hire Jillian Barron, an attorney from the Bellevue-based law firm Sebris Busto James, to conduct the investigation, according to the City Clerk’s office said. Barron interviewed Boe and others before issuing to the panel an investigative report with findings and recommendations.  Barron needed additional time to complete her work, which all told could raise the city’s bill by about $2,750, an official in the City Clerk’s office said.
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