The personnel director for Thurston County has filed an illegal-campaigning complaint against county Assessor Steven Drew, alleging that the Democrat solicited donations for Commissioner Sandra Romero's re-election from four top managers.
OLYMPIA — The personnel director for Thurston County has filed an illegal-campaigning complaint against county Assessor Steven Drew, alleging that the Democrat solicited donations for Commissioner Sandra Romero’s re-election from four top managers during a meeting in county offices Feb. 9.
The state Public Disclosure Commission posted the complaint on its website Friday. It was filed Aug. 30 as a letter to the PDC from Thurston County human-resources director Diana Townsend, based on complaints she had received Aug. 6 and Aug. 24.
In the complaint letter, Townsend says that in the past year, Drew also asked one of his division managers to get information from the office of Auditor Kim Wyman that his wife, Kathleen Drew, might use in her campaign for secretary of state against Wyman.
The complaint’s second accusation might be more damaging in the 2012 election cycle.
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PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said the complaint is being given to an investigator, but the case won’t be wrapped up before the Nov. 6 election. That means the questions will hang over Kathleen Drew as well as Romero until then.
The complaint claims that Steven Drew said, “For full disclosure, I don’t need this information in my capacity as assessor, but the information would be helpful for my wife.”
He could not be reached immediately to comment. Kathleen Drew said from Yakima, where she was campaigning, that she would not comment until she had seen the complaint.
Townsend’s complaint says she believes Steven Drew violated two state laws — one prohibiting the solicitation of campaign contributions “by a public official from an employee in the official’s agency” and one “which prohibits an elective official from using a public office for the purpose of assisting a campaign for election.”
The complaint says “two employees confirmed that they attended that Feb. 9 manager’s meeting and that Mr. Drew, at the close of the meeting, urged the employees in attendance to contribute to Commissioner Romero’s campaign.”
The second incident allegedly occurred in the past year. The complaint says Drew asked a division manager, Lynn Richard, to “investigate an inquiry from a vendor claiming that the Auditor’s Office was not collecting certain recording fees and provide him with information that could be used against Kim Wyman, the current Thurston County auditor, who is running for office (Washington secretary of state).”