Thurston Conservation District hearing postponed

December 6, 2018

Due to an unforeseen medical issue, the Thurston Conservation District public hearing scheduled for December 7 has been postponed.

A new hearing date will be announced on the Washington State Conservation Commission website as soon as it has been rescheduled. Our sincere apologies for this last-minute but necessary change.

Thurston Conservation District public hearing set for December 7

October 16, 2018

The Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) will hold a public hearing on Friday, December 7, 2018 to consider the removal of two Thurston Conservation District (TCD) board supervisors, Eric Johnson and Richard Mankamyer.

After the hearing is complete, Commission members intend to vote on the options and staff recommendations set out in the Thurston Conservation District Investigation Report (released July 2018).

SCC staff, Johnson, and Mankamyer will have time to present to Commission members and answer their questions during the hearing. No new information, exhibits, or public comment will be admitted into the record.

  • What: Public hearing to consider removal of TCD board supervisors
  • When: 8:30 am on Friday, December 7, 2018
  • Where: Auditorium at the Department of Ecology Headquarters Building (300 Desmond Drive SW, Lacey, WA 98503)
  • Who: Hearing is open to the public. However, no public comment will be taken.

For more information about the TCD investigation process and report that led to this public hearing, please see the previous posts below.

Contacts:

  • Please direct questions and media inquiries about the TCD investigation to Ron Shultz (360-407-7507).
  • Contact Lori Gonzalez (360-407-7417) if you have questions about attending the hearing.

Update (11/27): Final agenda now available!

Update (8/30): Commission to schedule public hearing on Thurston Conservation District investigation

August 30, 2018

At their August 29 meeting, members of the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) voted to hold a public hearing on findings from an investigation report into Thurston Conservation District (TCD) board conduct and the potential removal of two TCD board supervisors.

The public hearing will take place between October 1-31, 2018. Once scheduled, the SCC will share the hearing date and other details on our website.

The August 29 SCC meeting was recorded. Please visit the Commission Meetings page to view the recording and other meeting materials (see August 29, “Meeting Documents”).

See below for previous posts about the TCD investigation process and report.

Contacts:

  • Please direct questions about the TCD investigation to Ron Shultz (360-407-7507).

Thurston Conservation District Update (8/24): Commission members to discuss potential hearing date

August 24, 2018

At their August 29 meeting, members of the Washington State Conservation Commission (SCC) will consider scheduling a potential hearing about an investigation report into Thurston Conservation District (TCD) board conduct (see July 20 post below for more about the report).

Please note – Commission members won’t be acting on the investigation report at their August meeting. They only will consider whether to schedule a hearing date.

The Commission will not take comment from the public relating to the content of the TCD investigation report. Comment will be taken on any proposed hearing under consideration by the Commission.

Materials for the August 29 SCC meeting:

Contacts:

  • Please contact Lori Gonzalez if you have questions about the SCC meeting.
  • Please direct questions about the TCD investigation to Ron Shultz (360-407-7507).

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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