The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed by Larry Seaquist on October 16, 2018. The Complaint alleged that John Kelly, Parks Commissioner for the Key Peninsula Metro Park, may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 for using public facilities to support a political candidate.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations, the statutes and rules, the campaign flyer, and the response from Parks Commissioner John Kelly.
Based on our findings, staff has determined that in this instance, the use of a public facilities does not amount to a material violation warranting further investigation since: (1) No public resources or funds were used to support a political campaign or distribute the flyers. (2) The flyer made no mention of the Key Peninsula Metro Park, which is the agency that John Kelly serves as Parks Commissioner. (3) The overall structure and language of the flyer implies a personal endorsement, even though some word choices could be misinterpreted. (4) Elected officials are authorized to use their title if it is not on behalf of the agency and does not use public facilities.
PDC staff is reminding Parks Commissioner John Kelly about the importance of clarifying that he is not speaking on behalf of the agency when using his title to endorse a political candidate.
Based on this information, the PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1), and will not be conducting a more formal investigation into your complaint or pursuing further enforcement action in this case.