Case #55699
Respondent name: John Weidenfeller
Complainant name: Andrew Saturn

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) completed its review of the complaint Andrew Saturn filed on June 21, 2019. The complaint alleged that John Weidenfeller may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 by authorizing the use of public office/agency facilities to assist an election campaign in 2018. Specifically, Andrew Saturn alleged that the Thurston County Public Utility District (PUD) paid for candidate Linda Oosterman to attend four Chamber of Commerce events in 2018, thereby potentially violating .555.

In the original complaint, it was alleged that Linda Oosterman and the Thurston County PUD also violated RCW 42.17A.555 by using or authorizing the use of public office/agency facilities to assist Linda Oosterman’s re-election campaign. Therefore:

  • A separate case was opened to address the allegation made against Linda Oosterman (PDC Case 53838). 
  • RCW 42.17A.555 prohibits specific types of individuals – namely elected or appointed officials and public agency or office employees – from engaging in certain activities. Whereas Thurston County PUD is not an individual, it cannot violate .555. Therefore, the allegation against Thurston County PUD was dismissed.

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; and the response provided by John Weidenfeller (the “Respondent”) to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations. 

Based on the findings, staff determined that, in this instance, reimbursing Linda Oosterman for a documented PUD Commissioner expenditure that was not clearly identified as an election-related event does not amount to a violation warranting further investigation.

Based on the information, the PDC found that no further action is warranted and dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).

Disposition: Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 08/23/2019)
Date opened: 08/05/2019
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A 555

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