A state agency has declined to formally investigate claims made by a Sumner city councilman that the mayor and other officials broke the law by allowing comments at council meetings meant to help his opponent in a state legislative race.
Councilman Matt Richardson, who unsuccessfully challenged Sen. Pam Roach in last fall’s election, filed the complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission on Nov. 15.
The interim executive director of the agency wrote in a letter to Richardson this week that evidence wasn’t provided that the city broke the law. The city gave the letter to The News Tribune this morning.
Carmen Palmer, city spokeswoman, wrote in an email to the paper that, “We strive to uphold the rules that protect all citizens whether elected or not, so it is great to hear that the actions at our meetings did not even warrant an investigation.”
Richardson said he stands behind his claims and plans to take the matter to the state Attorney General’s office.
“Anybody who saw the video knows the law was broken,” he said. “I’m confident it was broken. I was there. I saw it. So did everyone else.”
The 44-year-old, a seven-year veteran of the council, alleged that some Sumner officials allowed “defamatory and directed statements” from the public at meetings last summer and fall to help Roach get re-elected.
The bruising campaign saw allegations fly back and forth. Richardson also filed a separate complaint with the PDC alleging Roach and her campaign ran “knowingly false” and “malicious” attack ads. The PDC is investigating that complaint.