Case #59039
Respondent name: City of Olympia Officials
Complainant name: Charles Eakins; Glen Morgan; John Wissler; Edwin Pole, II; and Robert Shirley

  • Allegation One: Violation of RCW 42.17A.555 for misuse of public facilities to design, produce, and distribute a mailer in opposition to Initiative 976.
  • Allegation Two: Violation of RCW 42.17A.320 for failure to disclose sponsor identification on political advertising in opposition to Initiative 976.
  • Allegation Three: Violation of RCW 42.17A.255 for failure to disclose the value of independent expenditures in opposition to Initiative 976.

The Public Disclosure Commission will hold an enforcement hearing on Thursday, July 23, 2020 at 10:15 am concerning allegations that Steve Hall, former City Manager for the City of Olympia, violated RCW 42.17A.555 by authorizing the use of City of Olympia resources to produce and distribute a mailer providing information about I-976.  A copy of the Report of Investigation with exhibits is attached below.

Concerning the allegations listed in the complaints against the City of Olympia Mayor Cheryl Selby, and all of the City Council members, PDC staff determined that in this instance, no evidence supports a finding of a violation of RCW 42.17A.555 or the taking of any enforcement action, and staff dismissed those allegations with a Reminder cover letter on July 22, 2020.  See attached complaint return letters below.  

A proposed Stipulation has been agreed to by the Respondent Steve Hall, and PDC staff and will be presented to the Commission at the enforcement hearing to be conducted at the July 23, 2020 Commission meeting.  The Stipulation (which is posted below) may be accepted, modified, or rejected by the Commission at the meeting today.

At the July 23, 2020 Commission meeting, the Commission accepted the proposed Stipulation and found that Steve Hall, former City of Olympia City Manager, violated RCW 42.17A.555 by authorizing the use of City of Olympia resources to produce and distribute a mailer that provided information about I-976, including encouraging recipients to "Vote No" in three separate areas of the mailer.  

The Commission further accepted the proposed penalty of $10,000 be assessed against Mr. Hall, with $5,000 of the penalty suspended on the condition that he commits no further violations of RCW 42.17A for a period of four years from the date of the Order, and the $5,000 non-suspended portion of the penalty is paid within 30 days. 

 

Disposition: Violation Found by Commission (Resolved 07/29/2020)
Date opened: 10/22/2019
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.555, RCW 42.17A.320
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