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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20231
Experience:  Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
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I work for Kitsap County and the manager used the power of

Resolved Question:

I work for Kitsap County and the manager used the power of his office to secure a job for his son which also caused an existing employee to lose the position.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 1 year ago.
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the circumstances you've described. So that I may better assist, please clarify: what is your actual question that you'd like assistance with? What information are you seeking from JustAnswer?

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


In washington state according to RCW 42.52.070 a public employee can not use his office to secure special privlages for a family member, when a position opened in a local public water supply this person was given the position automatically another employee that was already employed at the company put in for the same position which she had no chance of getting because a deal was already made for this persons son, this sounds wrong to me, is there a possible law suit

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 1 year ago.
An ethics complaint has to be filed before any lawsuit can be pursued. The relevant laws provide:

RCW 42.52.410
Filing complaint.

(1) A person may, personally or by his or her attorney, make, sign, and file with the appropriate ethics board a complaint on a form provided by the appropriate ethics board. The complaint shall state the name of the person alleged to have violated this chapter or rules adopted under it and the particulars thereof, and contain such other information as may be required by the appropriate ethics board.

(2) If it has reason to believe that any person has been engaged or is engaging in a violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it, an ethics board may issue a complaint.




RCW 42.52.420
Investigation.

(1) After the filing of any complaint, except as provided in RCW 42.52.450, the staff of the appropriate ethics board shall investigate the complaint. The investigation shall be limited to the allegations contained in the complaint.

(2) The results of the investigation shall be reduced to writing and the staff shall either make a determination that the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to RCW 42.52.425, or recommend to the board that there is or that there is not reasonable cause to believe that a violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it has been or is being committed.

(3) The board's determination on reasonable cause shall be provided to the complainant and to the person named in such complaint.


RCW 42.52.425
Dismissal of complaint.

(1) Based on the investigation conducted under RCW 42.52.420 or 42.52.450, and subject to rules issued by each board, the board or the staff of the appropriate ethics board may issue an order of dismissal based on any of the following findings:

(a) Any violation that may have occurred is not within the jurisdiction of the board;

(b) The complaint is obviously unfounded or frivolous; or

(c) Any violation that may have occurred does not constitute a material violation because it was inadvertent and minor, or has been cured, and, after consideration of all of the circumstances, further proceedings would not serve the purposes of this chapter.

(2) Written notice of the determination under subsection (1) of this section shall be provided to the complainant, respondent, and the board. The written notice to the complainant shall include a statement of the complainant's right to appeal to the board under subsection (3) of this section if the dismissal order was issued by staff.

(3) In the event that a complaint is dismissed by staff under this section, the complainant may request that the board review the action. Following review, the board shall:

(a) Affirm the staff dismissal;

(b) Direct the staff to conduct further investigation; or

(c) Issue a determination that there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has been or is being committed.

(4) The board's decision under subsection (3) of this section shall be reduced to writing and provided to the complainant and the respondent.


RCW 42.52.430
Public hearing — Findings.

(1) If the ethics board determines there is reasonable cause under RCW 42.52.420 that a violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it occurred, a public hearing on the merits of the complaint shall be held.

(2) The ethics board shall designate the location of the hearing. The case in support of the complaint shall be presented at the hearing by staff of the ethics board.

(3) The respondent shall file a written answer to the complaint and appear at the hearing in person or otherwise, with or without counsel, and submit testimony and be fully heard. The respondent has the right to cross-examine witnesses.

(4) Testimony taken at the hearing shall be under oath and recorded.

(5) If, based upon a preponderance of the evidence, the ethics board finds that the respondent has violated this chapter or rules adopted under it, the board shall file an order stating findings of fact and enforcement action as authorized under this chapter.

(6) If, upon all the evidence, the ethics board finds that the respondent has not engaged in an alleged violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it, the ethics board shall state findings of fact and shall similarly issue and file an order dismissing the complaint.

(7) If the board makes a determination that there is not reasonable cause to believe that a violation has been or is being committed or has made a finding under subsection (6) of this section, the attorney general shall represent the officer or employee in any action subsequently commenced based on the alleged facts in the complaint.


RCW 42.52.440
Review of order.

Except as otherwise provided by law, reconsideration or judicial review of an ethics board's order that a violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it has occurred shall be governed by the provisions of chapter 34.05 RCW applicable to review of adjudicative proceedings.


RCW 42.52.460
Citizen actions.

Any person who has notified the appropriate ethics board and the attorney general in writing that there is reason to believe that RCW 42.52.180 is being or has been violated may, in the name of the state, bring a citizen action for any of the actions authorized under this chapter. A citizen action may be brought only if the appropriate ethics board or the attorney general have failed to commence an action under this chapter within forty-five days after notice from the person, the person has thereafter notified the appropriate ethics board and the attorney general that the person will commence a citizen's action within ten days upon their failure to commence an action, and the appropriate ethics board and the attorney general have in fact failed to bring an action within ten days of receipt of the second notice.

If the person who brings the citizen's action prevails, the judgment awarded shall escheat to the state, but the person shall be entitled to be reimbursed by the state of Washington for costs and attorneys' fees incurred. If a citizen's action that the court finds was brought without reasonable cause is dismissed, the court may order the person commencing the action to pay all costs of trial and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred by the defendant.

Upon commencement of a citizen action under this section, at the request of a state officer or state employee who is a defendant, the office of the attorney general shall represent the defendant if the attorney general finds that the defendant's conduct complied with this chapter and was within the scope of employment
.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 20231
Experience: Assisting employees and employers for over 14 years.
JB Umphrey and 3 other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you

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