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Tag: Mike Carrell

April
15th

House revises Sen. Carrell’s ethics bill, then sends it back to Senate on a 96-1 vote

Ailing Sen. Mike Carrell’s bill to give whistle blowers more protections passed in the state House on a resounding 96-1 vote Monday evening. The measure, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5577, was amended so it must go back to the Senate for concurrence.

The original bill had passed unanimously in the Senate in early March. It let whistle blowers provide information to state ethics investigators without fear of being identified publicly. It also had provisions to punish any supervisor who retaliates with at least a reprimand and potentially a 30-day suspension and civil fines

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April
8th

UPDATE – Senate approves contracting-out bill for tech services in Enterprise Services agency; chilly reception ahead in House

A bill that would exempt some Department of Enterprise Services employees from competitive contracting passed the Senate on a partisan vote of 25 to 23 on Friday evening. That means they could not offer competing bids if the work they do is farmed out to the private sector.

Senate Bill 5891 was a less far-reaching measure than a contracting out measure sponsored by Republican Sen. Michael Baumgartner of Spokane, but it targets technology services, as Baumgartner’s had. “This assumes $15 million in savings, which I believe is conservative,” Baumgartner said Friday.

The lone Democrat voting

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March
26th

Questions raised about lawmakers doing ‘Columbo’-style detective work on ethics allegations

PETER FALK
Peter Falk, aka “Columbo”

Washington’s insufficient protections for ethics whistle blowers create a “chilling effect” on state employees, Executive Ethics Board director Melanie DeLeon told lawmakers today.

“If you want to file a complaint against your supervisor, you feel like you’re going to be retaliated against,” she said after talking to the House Government Operations and Elections Committee. “So they don’t. They don’t file it.”

But criticism emerged today of the fix suggested by Sen. Mike Carrell. His proposed overhaul of ethics laws passed the Senate 47-0 and escaped scrutiny from Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office, which now says it has noticed some problems.

Among them is a provision letting elected officials keep files secret on their own personal investigations of wrongdoing. The agency said it would encourage separate investigations by politicians parallel to official probes.

A newspaper lobbyist agreed that’s not the role of elected officials. ”You’d be out there in a sort of ‘Columbo’-esque way trying to figure out what happened,” Rowland Thompson told lawmakers.

“I do have an old raincoat,” joked the committee chairman, Rep. Sam Hunt.

Carrell, a Republican senator from Lakewood, did his own sleuthing in a case that inspired the bill. Read more »

March
8th

Carrell’s bill adding protection for state-agency whistleblowers sails through Senate

The Senate voted unanimously Friday to pass a bill from Sen. Mike Carrell that lets whistle blowers provide information to state ethics investigators without fear of being identified publicly. It also has provisions to punish any supervisor who retaliates with at least a reprimand and potentially a 30-day suspension and civil fines of up to $5,000.

Carrell, a Republican senator from Lakewood, says that two whistle blowers at the Department of Corrections – whom he is not publicly identifying – suffered retaliation after bringing wrongdoing to light by a supervisor.

“One has already left the agency because of

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