The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed by Maxford Nelson on June 20, 2018 and the additional information provided on September 3, 2018. The complaint alleged that the Bethel School District (BSD) may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 by using school district facilities to process district employee voluntarily withheld payroll deductions, which were designated by the employee as contributions for theWashington Education Association's Political Action Committee (WEA-PAC), a political committee registered with the PDC, and the National Education Association Fund for Children and Education (NEA-FCPE).
PDC staff reviewed the allegations listed in the complaint, PDC statutes, rules, and PDC Interpretation #01-03, and the August 30, 2018 response from William A. Coats, an attorney with Vandeberg, Johnson & Gandara, LLP on behalf of the client Bethel School District.
The Bethel School District processes employee payroll deductions and other employee voluntary withholdings as part of the "normal and regular conduct" of the school district. No evidence was found that the district provided any preferential treatment concerning district employee's withholding of funds designated for the WEA-PAC and NEA-FCPE, and any other district employee withholdings for charitable contributions, deferred compensation, etc.
Staff has determined that in this instance, no evidence supports a finding of a material violation warranting further investigation. 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 No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 09/10/2018)