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Seattle & King County Ethics Opinions

Updated June 11, 2012.
Prepared by Cheryl Nyberg. Updated by Lori Fossum (2009).

This guide identifies free public websites and commercial databases for locating ethics rules and opinions from Seattle and King County agencies.

LexisNexis and Westlaw are limited to individual users with passwords and IDs.


Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission

The Seattle Ethics & Elections Commission was established by Chapter 3.70 of the Seattle Municipal Code and it administers, interprets, and enforces the Seattle Code of Ethics, Chapter 4.16 of the Seattle Municipal Code.  The Code of Ethics was substantially changed in 2009.

The Commission also conducts investigations and issues advisory opinions that deal with specific issues and provide guidance.


Administrative and interpretive rules

Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinions, 1974-date.
Searchable by Code section, keyword, and topic.

Determinations and settlements, 2007-date.
Included in Commission Actions, arranged by date, most recent first.

Westlaw: SEA-ETH, 1992-date.


King County

King County Board of Ethics

The King County Board of Ethics provides "written advisory opinions concerning questions of ethics, conflicts of interest and the applicability of the Code of Ethics" upon the request of a County officer or employee.

The Employee Code of Ethics is found in the King County Code, Chapter 3.04.

Advisory Opinions

Advisory Opinions Subject Index, 1001-1163.
Arranged by subject with links to full opinions.


Other Washington Cities & Counties

The Municipal Research & Services Center of Washington provides a page that links to selected city and county ethics codes. It also links to the Public Ethics Law Primer, 2010 update, originally prepared by the Washington State Municipal Attorneys' Association.


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