Thurston Conservation District board supervisors respond to investigation report

August 16, 2018

The two members of the Thurston Conservation District (TCD) board of supervisors who were identified for potential removal in an investigation report into TCD board conduct have provided a written response (see post from 6/20/18 below for more about the investigation and report).

Read the supervisors’ response.

Members of the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) will hold a special meeting on August 29 to potentially set the date and format for a hearing based on the investigation report and response. The August 29 meeting is open to the public, and public comment will be taken on any proposed hearing under consideration by the Commission. The SCC will not take public comment on the investigation report or response at the meeting.

Materials for the August 29 SCC meeting:

Please contact Lori Gonzalez if you have questions about the SCC meeting.

If you have trouble downloading the supervisors’ written response to the investigation report or would like a copy in another format, please contact Jillian Fishburn.

Investigation of Thurston Conservation District board supervisors concludes

Report findings indicate potential cause to remove two members

July 20, 2018

OLYMPIA, WA – Staff of the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) have concluded their investigation into the conduct of members of the Thurston Conservation District (TCD) board of supervisors.

The final investigation report recommends that there may be cause for the SCC Board of Commissioners to remove two TCD board supervisors.

The SCC launched the investigation in response to hearing several concerns and complaints regarding the conduct of TCD board supervisors. Under state law, the SCC may remove a conservation district supervisor for “neglect of duty or malfeasance in office.”

View the report and associated materials:

The two members of the TCD board of supervisors identified for potential removal — Eric Johnson and Richard Mankamyer — have been notified of the report findings. Johnson and Mankamyer have 30 days to respond in writing to the SCC.

Conservation district boards consist of three members elected by local voters and two members who are appointed by the SCC. In the case of TCD, Johnson is an appointed member, and Mankamyer was elected.

“Whether elected or appointed, the issue of potentially removing someone from public office is very serious,” said Mark Clark, executive director of the SCC. “Our agency is following due process with the implicated TCD board supervisors and keeping the public informed about this issue.”

SCC staff also heard and reviewed complaints about TCD staff conduct. However, the SCC has little legal authority over conservation district staff.

Next steps
  • The two TCD board supervisors identified for potential removal in the investigation report have been given 30 days to provide a written response to members of the SCC Board of Commissioners.
  • If Commission members decide to move forward with the process of board supervisor removal, a hearing will be scheduled with 60-days’ notice provided to implicated parties.
  • Following the hearing, the final decision about whether to remove TCD board supervisors will be made by a majority vote of Commission members. Once scheduled, the date of this vote will be posted on the SCC website.
Contact

Please direct questions about the TCD investigation to Ron Shultz (rshultz@scc.wa.gov or 360-407-7507).

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