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    Procedure Reporting Improper Governmental Action

    File: 5271P

    Definitions: As used in this policy and procedure, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated. 

    1. "Improper governmental action" means any action by a district officer or employee: 
      1. That is undertaken in the performance of the officer or employee's official duties, whether or not the action is within the scope of the employee's job, and 
      2. That (i) is in violation of any federal, state or local law or rule, (ii) is in abuse of authority, (iii) is of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety, or (iv) is a gross waste of public funds. Improper governmental action does not include personnel actions. 
    2. "Retaliatory action" means any adverse change in the terms and conditions of a staff member's employment. 
    3. "Emergency" means a circumstance that if not immediately changed may cause damage to persons or property. Employees are encouraged to report instances which they believe constitute governmental misconduct. 

    Reporting: Employees who become aware of actions that they believe constitute improper governmental action should raise the issue first with their supervisor. If requested by the supervisor, the employee shall submit a written report to the supervisor or designee, stating in detail the basis for the employee's belief that an improper governmental action has occurred. 

    Where the employee reasonably believes the improper governmental action involves his or her supervisor, the employee may raise the issue directly with the superintendent or the person whom the superintendent has designated to receive reports of improper governmental action. 

    In case of emergency where the employee believes that damage to persons or property may result if action is not taken immediately, or where the employee has a legal obligation to report (for instance, where child abuse is suspected), the employee shall report the improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency with responsibility for investigating the improper action. 

    District employees who fail to make a good faith attempt to follow this policy and procedure in reporting governmental conduct shall not be eligible for the protection outlined. 

    Response: The employee's supervisor, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee shall take prompt action to see that the report of improper governmental action is properly investigated. 

    Persons involved in the investigation shall keep the identity of reporting employees confidential to the extent possible under law, unless the employees authorize the disclosure of their identities in writing. 

    After an investigation has been completed, the reporting employee shall receive a summary of the investigation results, except to the extent that resulting personnel actions must be kept confidential. If a reporting employee reasonably believes that an adequate investigation was not done by the district, that insufficient action has been taken, or that the improper governmental action is likely to recur, the employee may report information about the improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency. 

    Retaliation: Employees who believe that they have been retaliated against for reporting an improper governmental action should advise their supervisor, the superintendent or the superintendent's designee. Appropriate action to investigate and address complaints of retaliation shall be taken. 

    If the complaint cannot be informally resolved, the employee shall provide written notice to the superintendent that specifies the alleged retaliatory action and the relief requested by the employee. The written complaint must be filed within thirty days of the alleged retaliation. The district will respond to the complaint within thirty days of receiving the written notice. 

    If the employee alleging retaliation receives no response from the district or objects to the district's response, the employee may request a hearing before a state administrative law judge. The request for a hearing must be delivered in writing to the superintendent either fifteen days following the district's response, or forty-five (45) days after the complaint was filed, if there was no response. 

    The district will apply for a hearing within five working days to: 

    Office of Administrative Hearings 
    P O Box 42488 
    Rowe Six, Building 1 
    4224 6th SE 
    Lacey, Washington 98504-2488 
    (206) 459-6353 

    When considering discipline, the district will consider any recommendation provided by the administrative law judge regarding an employee found to have retaliated against an employee who reported improper governmental action. 

    Administration: A summary of this policy and procedure will be permanently posted where all employees will have reasonable access to it, the policy and procedure will be made available to any employee who requests them, and the policy and procedure will be given to all new employees. 

    The following is a list of agencies responsible for enforcing federal, state and local laws and investigating issues involving potential improper governmental action. Employees having questions about these agencies or the procedures for reporting improper governmental action are encouraged to contact their supervisor, the superintendent or designee. 

    Kirkland Police Department 
    123 5th Ave 
    Kirkland, Washington 98033 
    (206) 828-1183 

    Redmond Police Department 
    15670 NE 85th St 
    Redmond, Washington 98052 
    (206) 556-2500 

    King County Police Department 
    18118 73rd NE 
    Bothell, Washington 98011 
    (206) 296-5020 

    King County Health Department 
    110 Prefontaine Pl S #600 
    Seattle, Washington 98104 
    (206) 296-4600 

    King County Environmental 
    Protection Agency 
    1200 6th Avenue 
    Seattle, Washington 98101 
    (206) 553-1200 

    King County Prosecutor's Office 
    516 3rd Avenue, Room W554 
    Seattle, Washington 98104 
    (206) 296-9000 

    WA. Attorney General's Office 
    Fair Practices Division 
    2000 Bank of California Center 
    900 4th Avenue 
    Seattle, Washington 
    (206) 464-6684 

    Washington Auditor's Office 
    Legislative Building 
    P O Box 40021 
    Olympia, Washington 98504-0021 
    (206) 753-5280 

    Washington Department of Ecology 
    3190 - 160th SE 
    Bellevue, Washington 98008-5852 
    (206) 649-7000 

    WA. Human Rights Commission 
    402 Evergreen Plaza Bldg., FJ-41 
    711 South Capitol Way 
    Olympia, Washington 98504-2490 
    (206) 753-6770 

    WA. Dept. of Labor & Industries 
    300 West Harrison, Room 201 
    Seattle, Washington 
    (206) 281-5400 

    WA. Dept. of Natural Resources 
    P O Box 68 
    Enumclaw, Washington 98022 
    (206) 825-1631 

    Puget Sound Water Quality 
    Authority 
    P O Box 40900 
    Olympia, Washington 98504 
    (206) 493-9300 

    WA. Supt. of Public Instruction 
    Old Capitol Building 
    P O Box 47200 
    Olympia, Washington 98504-7200 
    (206) 753-6738 

    U.S. Dept. of Education 
    Office of the Inspector General 
    915 2nd Avenue 
    Seattle, Washington 98178 
    Audits: (206) 553-0657 
    Investigations: (206) 553-1482 

    Environmental Protection Agency 
    Criminal Investigations 
    1200 6th Avenue 
    Seattle, Washington 
    (206) 553-8306 

    Equal Employment Opportunity Comm. 
    2815 2nd Avenue, Suite 500 
    Seattle, Washington 98178 
    (206) 553-0968 

    Federal Emergency Mgmt. Agency 
    130 228th Street S.W. 
    Bothell, Washington 
    (206) 487-4600 

    US Department of Labor 
    Occupational Safety and Health 
    1111 3rd Avenue, Suite 715 
    Seattle, Washington 98101-3212 
    (206) 553-5930 

    Nat. Transportation Safety Board 
    19518 Pacific Hwy South 
    Seattle, Washington 
    (206) 764-3782 

    US Dept. of Transportation 
    Office of Inspector General 
    915 2nd Avenue 
    Seattle, Washington 98178 
    (206) 553-5720 

     

    Adopted:
    09/01/19

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