SPOKANE, Wash. – An ethics complaint has been filed against the assistant of Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart.
The complaint was filed by Spokane resident Michael Cannon, claiming assistant Adam McDaniel broke the city's Code of Ethics by working for the city while also owning "McDaniel Projects," a political consulting business.
He is “personally benefiting from the policy work he is doing and being paid for by Spokane taxpayers,” Cannon said in a press release.
The complaint said McDaniel's firm has been hired and paid by political clients in Spokane including current members of the Spokane City Council, making it a conflict of interest. Cannon said McDaniel “is forbidden from benefiting personally from legislation beyond his compensation as a City employee.”
Council President Ben Stuckart responded to the complaint filing and released a statement:
“There is no conflict of interest. We have seen a half dozen public records requests in the last month as well as this ethics complaint. I have had 5 ethics violations thrown out in the last few years. This is just another pointless gesture in a string of right wing attacks by the same people filing frivolous records requests because they lost an election.”
Stuckart cited the following section of the Spokane Municipal Code that encourages McDaniel’s role a political client:
“City Officers and employees are encouraged to participate in the political process on their own time and outside of the workplace by working on campaigns for the election of any person to any office or for the promotion of or opposition to any ballot proposition, but shall not use or authorized the use of City facilities of resources for such purposes except as authorized by the provisions of RCW 42.17.13.”
McDaniel told KREM 2’s Lindsay Nadrich over the phone that he said he has no financial interest in any legislation passed by the City Council and has not benefitted financially from any legislation. He said his business helps candidates gets elected.
I would dispute that it's not a conflict, I think there is a clear conflict he proudly claims credit on the internet for the work that he does as a business with the council, so whether he receives checks in the mail from council people or council it pads a resume so that he can get other political clients based on his work, so there's a reason as a business he claims authority for the work that he's done,” Cannon said in an interview.
The complaint will now go to the Ethics Commission and they will review it and proceed from there.