Re: “Puyallup lawmaker fined $5,000,” (TNT, 2/18).
The complaint filed by the Legislative Ethics Board against Rep. Melanie Stambaugh should frighten every elected official in state government.
The original complaint was filed as a Public Disclosure Commission complaint under RCW 42.17A. The ethics board did not have authority to investigate complaints under that law. The board only has authority to investigate alleged violations of RCW 42.52: “Ethics in Public Service.”
Also, RCW 42.17A does not apply to Stambaugh because she is a state officer.
Not only did the ethics board have no jurisdiction over this complaint, but board members violated board rules by not returning it to the sender. It should have been forwarded immediately to the PDC for disposition.