The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed on October 22, 2020. The complaint alleged that Greg Tompkins, a current Walla Walla County Commissioner, Position 3, may have violated RCW 42.11A.555 by using public facilities (Facebook page) to assist the election campaign of 2020 State Senate candidate, Perry Dozier.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the response provided by Greg Tompkins (the “Respondent”); PDC Interpretation 04-02; and the applicable PDC reports filed by the Respondent, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.
Given the general content of information and posts, it appears that the Facebook page created “Greg Tompkins-Walla Wall County Commissioner District 3” was intended to be used primarily for Commissioner Tompkins to communicate with his constituents in his official capacity and not for personal business. Commissioner Tompkins’ response confirmed that the Walla Walla County Commissioner’s office has purposely not created social media pages for its elected officials. Staff believes, with the exception of the disclaimer stating otherwise, that a member of the public landing on this Facebook would likely interpret it as the official page for Walla Walla County Commissioner Greg Tompkins and not Mr. Tompkins’ personal page.
Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, use of a Facebook page with almost every component of an official public page of an elected public official to support a candidate for public office, does not amount to a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation.
PDC staff is reminding Greg Tompkins about the importance of strictly following the prohibitions and restrictions regarding the use of public facilities in the future in accordance with PDC statutes and 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 Reminder (Resolved 01/20/2021)