The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its initial review of the complaint filed by Candace Drollinger on March 12, 2018. The complaint alleged that Michael E. Haas, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney, may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 by using the public facilities of his office to assist his 2018 re-election campaign, in violation of RCW 42.17A.555.
The complaint alleged that for the past year Mr. Haas has pressured Julie St. Marie, Chief Criminal Deputy Prosecutor, to support him because “his opponent will fire her” if Mr. Haas is not re-elected. The complaint also alleged that Mr. Haas has pressured Ms. St. Marie to attend campaign functions, put his campaign sign in her yard, and display his campaign button. The complaint also stated that Ms. St. Marie feels uncomfortable because she is an “at will” employee, and Mr. Haas can fire her at any time.
Based on our findings, staff has determined that in this instance, there is insufficient evidence to support a finding of a material violation warranting further investigation. However, staff will remind Mr. Haas of the prohibition against using public facilities to assist his campaign, and the prohibition against soliciting his employees for campaign contributions. The PDC has closed the matter, and will not be conducting a more formal investigation into the complaint or pursuing further enforcement action in this case.Disposition: Case Closed with Reminder (Resolved 06/05/2018)