Prohibitions on Campaigning at a Public Hospital facility

Wanted to remind all the candidates, the County Hospital District Commissioners, their supporters and the staff of Jefferson Healthcare, that Washington State law, RCW 42.17A.555 (formerly RCW 42.17.130) establishes a broad prohibition on the use of “the facilities of a public office or agency” to support or oppose a ballot proposition or to assist an election campaign for public office. This prohibition is enforced by the state Public Disclosure Commission (PDC). Persons who violate the prohibition may be subject to civil penalties of up to $10,000 and could be referred by the PDC for criminal prosecution. RCW 42.17A.750.
A full discussion on this topic, including state law RCW chapter and verse can be found at the January 2017, AWPHD Legal Manual.  Located at: 

http://mrsc.org/getmedia/f3986741-4f36-4c91-9e5d-da6dd3be9306/AWPHD-Legal-Manual.aspx#page34

Even the notion of a Commissioner walking a candidate around the facilities is likely to be construed as an illegal act, since we are in a campaign currently and Commissioners are clearly taking sides outside of their public meetings to assist candidates. I’ve not found out whether management or staff wearing campaign buttons on site during their working hours could be a firing offense, or could be construed as engaging in illegal activity, but if you are staff, you might want to consult human resources for clarification. 

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