Case #89014
Respondent name: Greg Wheeler
Complainant name: William Broughton

A complaint was filed alleging that Greg Wheeler, the incumbent Mayor of the City of Bremerton, and a candidate seeking re-election to that office in 2021, may have violated RCW 42.17A.555 by using City of Bremerton facilities to support his candidacy for re-election.

Pursuant to RCW 42.17A.555 no public facilities can be used by or authorized to be used directly or indirectly by any local elected or appointed official or public employee, to support or oppose any candidate or ballot proposition.

Specifically, the complaint alleged that Mayor Wheeler posted photographs on his re-election website “of himself wearing City clothing and posing in front of City vehicles. He also posts ribbon cutting events and other events where he is pictured in his capacity as Mayor of Bremerton.”  Mayor Wheeler stated in his response:

  • The photographs posted on his “website were obtained from the candidate, his family, his supporters, or photographers paid by the campaign.” He stated the photographs were received by his Campaign “via social media/tagging and email.”
  • The photographs taken at the ribbon cutting ceremonies and other City of Bremerton “sponsored events were taken by friends of the candidate and the candidate’s wife. Many of these people share their photos with the City of Bremerton for social media use as well.”
  • No City of Bremerton staff took any of the photographs or involved with any of the photographs that were posted on his Campaign website, and that the “City of Bremerton does not employ photographers and no City employee was directed to take photos for the campaign.”

There was no evidence provided or found that Mayor Wheeler wore City of Bremerton clothing in any of the photographs taken by friends of the candidate or the candidate’s spouse, and that were subsequently posted on his Campaign website. 

Based on these findings, PDC staff found no evidence of a violation that would require conducting a more formal investigation into the complaint or pursuing enforcement action in this instance.  The PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).  

 

Disposition: Case Closed with No Evidence of Violations (Resolved 04/30/2021)
Date opened: 04/15/2021
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.555

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