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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Ethics Commission drops complaints against Stuckart, Waldref

The Spokane Ethics Commission on Wednesday dismissed complaints against two City Council members who were accused of improperly using city resources to promote their positions on propositions on the ballot in last month’s special election.

Council President Ben Stuckart and Councilwoman Amber Waldref acknowledged that they sent an email newsletter advocating their positions on election issues that appeared to have been sent from their city email accounts. But both said that their newsletters were actually sent from a different address through an online newsletter service.

Commissioners unanimously dismissed the complaints filed by real estate agent Ken Garceau. The commission ruled that even if the council members actions technically violated rules that the violations were so minor that they didn’t violate the ethics ordinance. Commissioners also noted that they self-reported the problem and apologized. Some members said it appeared that neither intended for their emails to have been labeled as coming from their city email accounts.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.