Initiative sponsor files ethics complaint against prosecuting attorney and deputy

The complaint outlines multiple violations of HR Policy 13 and RCW 42, relating to their handling of the proposed initiative

On Tuesday (Feb. 6), Rob Anderson, the sponsor of Initiative 2024 -1-1 known commonly as the “Restore Election Confidence” initiative, filed a formal ethics complaint with the Clark County Ethics Commission against Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik and Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Amanda Migchelbrink. The complaint outlines multiple violations of HR Policy 13 and RCW 42, relating to their handling of the proposed initiative.

Background

Rob Anderson, Reform Clark County
Rob Anderson, Reform Clark County

On Dec. 19, 2023, Anderson submitted Initiative 2024 -1-1 in accordance with Home Rule Charter 7.2 C 1,2. The Home Rule Charter mandates a specific timeline for processing and evaluating proposed initiatives. However, the complaint alleges that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office willingly violated this process.

In a letter dated December 21, 2023, Amanda Migchelbrink denied the initiative from the ballot without proper justification and in violation of the Home Rule Charter’s specific procedures. Following a request for clarification, a letter dated January 2, 2024, reiterated the refusal to complete a ballot title, further denying the initiative from the ballot. Only after the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office failed to follow the mandated timeline did Anderson file a Writ of Mandamus in Skamania County. Subsequently, the Prosecuting Attorney’s office reversed course and ultimately completed a ballot title and proper legal review, as stipulated in the Home Rule Charter.

Tony Golik, Clark County prosecuting attorney
Tony Golik, Clark County prosecuting attorney

“Clark County citizens shouldn’t have to drive to Stevenson to get our Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to follow the law and stop trying to suppress our right to free speech through lawful petitions,” said Rob Anderson.

The complaint also highlights the failure to forward the proposed initiative back to the Auditor’s office within the stipulated ten-day period, as required by the Home Rule Charter.

Ethics and RCW Violations

The complaint details several violations, including but not limited to:

  • Integrity: Golik and Migchelbrink refused to comply with the Home Rule Charter, contravening conduct requirements.
  • Honesty: The office’s explanation of the failure to comply with the Home Rule Charter lacked a basis in the law, constituting dishonesty.
  • Professional Standards: The office breached standards set by the Prosecutor’s Office and Bar Association by attempting to deny the proposed initiative.
  • RCW 42 Violations: The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office willfully neglected its duty to follow the Home Rule Charter, constituting a misdemeanor.

The complaint invokes various sections of HR Policy 13 and RCW 42, including failure of duty by a public officer, making false certificates, false reports, and other violations by officers.

Request for Investigation:

Per the Home Rule Charter 8.12 & 8.13, Anderson respectfully requests the Ethics Commission to investigate the alleged violations. He urges the Commission to deliberate and conclude whether disciplinary actions are warranted, adhering to the full extent of the law and Ethics Commission bylaws and procedures.


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