At times, complaints may be resolved prior to the completion of a formal investigation if the respondent agrees that a violation occurred and pays a fine.
PDC staff could offer a respondent the opportunity to enter into a stipulated agreement. As part of that process, the respondent acknowledges violations of RCW 42.17A or WAC 390, indicates that they are in compliance with the required reporting requirements, and pays a monetary penalty in accordance with a stipulation schedule adopted by the commission.
The proposed penalty amount must be within the dollar ranges listed in the stipulation schedule (WAC 390-37-062), and any stipulation must be reviewed by the commission at the regular or a special commission meeting, and approved or modified by the commission. If the stipulation is approved by the commission and the respondent, an order is entered and sent to the respondent, and the matter is resolved without any further action or review.
For actual violations that carry a penalty of $1,000 or less, a respondent may sign a Statement of Understanding (SOU) to avoid the time and expense of a brief enforcement hearing before the presiding officer (the commission chair or designee).
A respondent who has been notified of a brief enforcement hearing may waive the hearing by providing a signed SOU, filing any missing or amended reports, and paying a monetary penalty in accordance with WAC 390-37-143. By signing the SOU, a respondent is acknowledging violations of RCW 42.17A or WAC 390 and waiving the right to a hearing in this matter. The SOU must be approved by the executive director.