Case #59740
Respondent name: Scootney Springs Elementary School Officials
Complainant name: Sean Bates

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint Sean Bates filed on October 30, 2019. The complaint alleged that Scootney Springs Elementary School Officials (Respondents), public employees, may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 for authorizing the misuse of public facilities to support the election campaign of candidate Lindsy Prows.

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the responses provided by the Respondents; and PDC Interpretation 01-03, Guidelines for School Districts in Election Campaigns, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.

Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, authorizing the misuse of public facilities to store and distribute yard signs in support of a candidate does not amount to a violation that warrants further investigation.

Pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(d), however, Cynthia Tovar, Jessica Suarez, Janet Axtman, Jacee Martinez, Tammy Foley, and Sandra Garza will receive a formal written warning concerning their actions regarding the use of public facilities to support an election campaign. The formal written warning will include staff’s expectation that Cynthia Tovar, Jessica Suarez, Janet Axtman, Jacee Martinez, Tammy Foley, and Sandra Garza review PDC Interpretation 01-03, Guidelines for School Districts in Election Campaigns and that they will prevent the misuse of public facilities in the future. The Commission will consider the formal written warning in deciding on further Commission action, if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules.

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

Disposition: Case Closed with Written Warning (Resolved 01/06/2020)
Date opened: 11/05/2019
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.555

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