Case #77320
Respondent name: Port Angeles School District Officials
Complainant name: Lisa Hitt

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed on September 14, 2020. The complaint alleged that the Officials of the Port Angeles School District (PASD), a public school district located in the City of Port Angeles and servicing nine public schools, may have violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.555 for failure to provide opportunities for opposing viewpoints during discussion of a local ballot measure; and (2) RCW 42.17A.565 for adverse employment action related to a public employee's contribution activity.

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes and rules; the response provided by Director of Human Resources, Scott Harker, on behalf of PASD (the “Respondent”); and PDC Interpretation 01-03, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.

Regarding the first allegation, staff found no evidence that PASD’s school board curtailed the complainant’s December 12, 2019 public comments and found that the verbal interruptions appeared to be meant to remind the speaker of the board’s written policy regarding public comments on a specific subject rather than to allow a question and answer period.

Regarding the second allegation, staff did not find that the complainant’s video project was meant to be a political contribution to PASD’s levy committee and found no evidence that PASD’s staff acted in a discriminatory manner towards the complainant regarding the absence of the levy video(s) in violation of RCW 42.17A.565(2)(c).

Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, no evidence supports a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation.

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 No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 12/11/2020)
Date opened: 09/30/2020
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.555, RCW 42.17A.565

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