City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

Title 01
Chapter 01.04A
Section 01.04A.040

Title 01 General Provisions

Chapter 01.04A Code of Ethics

Section 01.04A.040 Penalties for Noncompliance
  1. If the alleged violating party stipulates to the decision of the Ethics Commission, the decision that violation has occurred and acceptance of the consequences specified in the decision becomes final without hearing. However, if stipulation is not acceptable to the party against whom the complaint is filed, the matter will proceed to hearing by the Ethics Commission.

  2. A stipulation or hearing determination by the Ethics Commission that a violation has occurred shall subject the party found in violation to any of the following penalties, which may be imposed by the Ethics Commission:

    1. A cease and desist order as to violations of this Code of Ethics.

    2. A recommendation to the city council that an appointed committee or commission member be removed from the board or commission.

    3. An order to pay to the City damages sustained by the City that are caused by the conduct constituting the violation.

    4. In the case of a violator who receives wages from the City, a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars per violation or three times the economic value of anything received or sought in violation of this chapter or rules adopted under it, whichever is greater, may be imposed. Alternatively, the violator who is a member of a board or commission may be suspended for a number of days to be decided by the Ethics Commission, in lieu of fine but not in lieu of damages.

    5. In the case of an elected official, a written reprimand may be issued by the Ethics Commission if the Commission determines that while the elected official did violate the Ethics Code, there was no intent to commit the violation. The written reprimand shall set for the nature of the violation, the elected official’s response and the reasons why a reprimand is appropriate.  A written reprimand may not be issued if the elected official stipulates to the decision of the Ethics Commission pursuant to SMC 1.04A.040 A. The written reprimand shall be filed with the City Clerk and placed in the City Council minutes.

    6. An employee of the city who commits a violation of this chapter may be subjected to disciplinary action, up to and including termination from employment; provided that such disciplinary action is consistent with Career Service Guidelines and any applicable collective bargaining agreement.

    7. Costs, including reasonable investigative costs, shall be included as part of the limit under subsection (B)(4) of this section. Costs may not exceed the penalty imposed. The payment owed on the penalty shall be reduced by the amount of the costs paid.

    8. As appropriate, the Ethics Commission may refer the disposition of a complaint to the City or County prosecuting attorney’s office for appropriate action.

    9. Damages under this section may be enforced in the same manner as a judgment in a civil court.

Date Passed: Monday, January 12, 2015

Effective Date: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

ORD C35148 Section 1