Saturday, October 27, 2007

Summary of SEEC Violations Complaint Against Jean Godden

DAVID M. COONS
Seattle WA 98103


To whom it may concern:

On October 12th, 2007 a complaint was filed with the Seattle Ethics and Election Commission against council member Jean Godden. The complaint describes how Jean Godden has violated election law by using her city calendar and city staff to coordinate her campaign. The Ethics and Elections Executive Director , quickly moved to dismiss the complaint based on a letter he crafted in early 2005. The complainant immediately moved for an appeal. By law an appeal stays any opinion and subsequent dismissal until review by the full commission.

The appeal contends that city staff exceeded the scope of the 2005 letter by repeatedly arranging specific details relating to the campaign including fundraising and scheduling events. This is a serious election violation.

According to legal council sought by the complainant this appeal will hold up in a court of law. Further, the 2005 letter of opinion sent out to all elected officials may in itself be unlawful.

The Seattle Times erroneously reported the matter dismissed when in fact it is under appeal even though they were provided the necessary information to get the reporting correct.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, what is going to happen with this? If nothing happens, then why is there a law against it? Who is the body that decides what is done?

This is really ridiculous. There's no way that she did not know what she was doing, so I have to assume that she purposefully broke the law, and just didn't care, I guess.

the paper noose said...

What's worse is that Joel Connelly knows, but doesn't care.

bulldog said...

the seec commission, a group of seven, will review the complaint and appeal on november 7. At that time they will affirm,reverse or ammend the decision.The next step will be court action against the decision if the full commission upholds the appeal.If you care about this issue contact me thru this blog and I will keep you up to date on the progress of this complaint.

dave coons

bulldog said...

correction -if the commission upholds the dismissal the next step would be court action. sorry

landsfartherwest said...

The SEEC did reverse the decision of its own executive director. The Seattle P-I ran a short article but of course did not post it on the web, so I will quote most of it here:

From the Seattle P-I, December 6, 2007:

Godden investigated over campaign funds

Seattle - City Councilwoman Jean Godden is under investigation for allegedly inappropriately using city resources to assist her re-election campaign.

Before the November election a supporter of Godden's challenger, Joe Szwaja, filed a complaint alleging Godden had used tax resources in her campaign efforts.

The director of the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission initially dismissed the complaint.

Szwaja's supporter appealed, and the ethics commission upheld the appeal Wednesday evening, directing staff to investigate.

...