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Renton Businessman Files PDC Complaint Against Mayor Law Over Library

Complaint alleges Mayor didn't follow PDC guidelines in conducting an interview about the library election

Renton businessman Karel Lambert has filed a complaint with the state Public Disclosure Commission against Renton Mayor Denis Law, alleging that the mayor didn't follow PDC guidelines in conducting a media interview regarding the recent proposition to select a library site, and cited cost figures that hadn't been approved by the city.

Lambert, who filed the complaint Aug. 2, said in an email to Patch, "Mayor Law, was warned about the possibility of litigation against the City of Renton by KCLS in this matter by City Attorney Larry Warren in a memo of 5 Mar 2012 is apparently advising voters that the City’s own cost estimates (which were printed as part of the explanatory statement in the voter’s guide) are likely wrong, and that the cost estimates by Bill Ptacek of King County Library System are the credible estimates."

Law said after Monday's Renton City Council Meeting that he and the city will comment once the PDC has done its investigation into the complaint.

"The PDC staff will likely review the complaint in the next couple of weeks to decide what happens next," said PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson.

You can view the entire complaint filed with the PDC by clicking on the to the right of the story.

Renton voters the Cedar River location for the library over the proposed site west of the Piazza.

Editors Note - Mr. Lambert provided the incorrect date as mentioned about City Attorney Larry Warren's memo in his press release to the Patch. The memo is dated March 5, not March 18 as orginially stated.

Adam Christian Smith August 10, 2012 at 06:35 PM
One of many reasons I'm disappointed with the result of the vote that should not have been. Interesting. Adam Smith Renton, WA
TJ Kiltman Anderson August 10, 2012 at 06:39 PM
As I said months ago..only the blood-sucking attorneys win in this election
rentonben August 10, 2012 at 09:26 PM
As I understand it, the mayor and other elected officials can say anything they want to as long as they're not using government resources to do it. As far as I can see, Mayor Law (unlike KCLS) hasn't. I do know the Renton city attorney does make sure that the public doesn't do any campaigning while in the forum section of the city council meetings - I guess we'll have to see if that prohibition also extends to politicians, but my initial hunch is that as long as Mayor Law wasn't 'on-the-clock', he's free to say just about anything.
Melissa Farmin August 11, 2012 at 02:00 AM
I think it's quite possible Mr Law stated he was not representing the City at the time and the RR simply didn't quote that part of the conversation. The Mayor deserves to be called out for his arrogance in dismissing citicent concerns and for a lazy, half finished proposal for a new library site. However, I doubt he will be sanctioned by the PDC. T.J. The PDC is a government entity and the Mayor, when working in his official capacity, would be defended byt he City attorney. No one will get rich from this.
Melissa Farmin August 11, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Jenny &/or Dave - the link is to the March 5th memo instead of the March 18th memo.
Dave Nelson August 11, 2012 at 03:25 AM
HI Melissa, Mr.Lambert's press release was in error and you are correct its for the March 5th memo.
susan d liddell-jones August 11, 2012 at 03:35 AM
The pro-Piazza mailing used our tax money illegally. Also, some things very wrong with the figures being given for updating the CRL. It's sound as a bell, per the engineers' report, and built to be easily retrofitted for future needs. 13 million? The State Auditor has expressed an interest where the money goes each time Ptacek rides into town. We're interested too.
D. Charles August 16, 2012 at 04:03 AM
Sorry but fasten your seatbelt for more of the same. Mayor Dennis Law and council member's Briere, Prince, Person, and Zwicker voted in the Monday council meeting to stuff the library board with nothing but pro-dilapidated Big 5 building site supporters. Palmer and Taylor voted no and Corman, uncharacteristically, abstained. Taylor and Palmer eloquently expressed why this was a bad idea but it went in one ear and out the other of the Mayor and four councilmembers. The very definition of "tin ear" <Sigh>

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