Della Off the Hook

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Saying it was at best a he-said/she-said, Seattle Ethics and Elections executive director Wayne Barnett has dismissed the Firefighters' ethics complaint against former council member David Della and his chief of staff David Namura.

In October, the Seattle Fire Fighters Union and the Police Officers Guild came crying to the commission with reports that Della and Namura were attempting to quell their support for challenger Tim Burgess by making not-so-veiled threats about the future of their relationship (and of contract negotiations) should Della be re-elected.

Ultimately, writes Barnett, there wasn't "sufficient evidence to warrant filing charges" in the arm-twisting complaint. And though Ethics did conclude that Della called the police union president from his city telephone (which looks unseemly in the wake of the group's endorsement of his opponent), Barnett dismissed this violation given the fact that Della's no longer in office.

However, though this case didn't measure up, Barnett has this warning: "It makes clear that threats against one's political opponents violate the Ethics Code."

 
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