King County Executive Dow Constantine released his July 17 letter to King County Ombuds Amy Calderwood asking for the immediate release of investigative findings.
Amy Calderwood, Ombuds
Jonathan Stier, Deputy Ombuds
King County Ombuds Office
516 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Dear Ms. Calderwood and Mr. Stier:
Thank you for carefully reviewing the Ombuds complaint filed by Kevin Brown, completing your interviews and investigations, and conducting an extensive fact-finding effort. With all of this in hand, you must by now have determined whether any of Mr. Brown’s allegations can be substantiated. The public interest would be best served by your office immediately releasing findings, or summaries of findings, as you turn over only select materials to the media pursuant to their public records requests.
The complaint, which Mr. Brown withdrew on May 21, 2019 after reaching a settlement with King County, includes allegations of what he characterized as improper governmental actions and violations of the ethics code. I believe the record clearly and unambiguously shows that none of Mr. Brown’s allegations have merit. Releasing the complaint in the absence of your office’s impartial findings will create questions and confusion, and damage the reputations of King County employees who work diligently in the public interest.
The King County Code requires the Ombuds to complete its investigation and issue a final report within one year of a complaint – in this case, May of 2018 - to protect both the complainant and respondent(s) from precisely the kind of harm this delay will inevitably create. As such, I believe your office must immediately release your findings or a summary of your findings regarding Mr. Brown’s allegations. The people of King County deserve to know the outcome of your lengthy and thorough process, and the three people complained against deserve to have this cloud removed from above their heads.
Our respective offices had an appropriate and respectful relationship throughout your review of this important matter. I appreciate that you value the public trust before all else. I ask that you support that principle in this instance and release your findings without delay.
Thank you for your prompt consideration.
King County Executive