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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Facebook posts by lawmaker draw $5,000 fine from ethics board

Associated Press

OLYMPIA – The Legislative Ethics Board has fined Rep. Melanie Stambaugh $5,000, saying that she violated ethics rules by posting state-funded photos and videos to a Facebook page she used during her campaign.

The ethics board on Friday released a ruling that was signed Tuesday against the Puyallup Republican. Stambaugh had argued at a previous hearing that some of the ethics rules don’t reflect advancements in technology.

The board’s interpretation of a 1994 state ethics law says lawmakers are banned from embedding state-produced videos on campaign websites, although they are allowed to post links to the videos. The rule is intended to maintain access to public records while blocking the use of state resources in campaigns.

In an email, Stambaugh said she would challenge the decision and described the case against her as an attack that “has not advanced the public interest.”

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