The complaint alleged a violation of RCW 42.17A.555 by using public facilities to support her campaign by having a photograph taken in front of a fire station that included several fire fighters and using that photograph in political advertising.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations listed in the complaint, PDC laws, rules and, PDC Interpretation No. 04-02 Guidelines for Local Public Agencies in Election Campaigns, and the responses from Ms. Vargas, Shelby Kremenich, Campaign Manager, Friends of Pinky Vargas, and Colin Lowin, PAC Chair, International Association of Firefighters, Local 106 Bellingham/Whatcom Co. Union Firefighters (IAFF Local 106).
The sidewalk is considered public domain and the firefighters featured in the photograph were not using fire district uniforms or gear and were not on official duty.
The PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1) and will not be conducting a more formal investigation into these allegations or taking further enforcement action in this matter.