Fluoride Action Network

Port Angeles ethics board recommends admonishment for Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd

Source: Peninsular Daily News | April 12th, 2016 | By Paul Gottlieb, Senior Staff Writer

PORT ANGELES — A three-person board recommended this morning that Deputy Mayor Cherie Kidd should be orally admonished by the City Council for violating the city ethics code.

The panel composed of Frank Prince Jr., Grant Meiner and Danetta Rutten had decided April 1 that Kidd had violated the code by bringing “disrepute” on the City Council for interrupting a speaker during a public comment session at a Feb. 2 meeting and then abruptly adjourning the meeting without taking another, less onerous course of action, such as calling a recess, clearing the council chambers or adjourning and reconvening elsewhere.

The speaker, and several before him, had spoken against fluoridation before Kidd, who favors fluoridation.

Kidd cut short the meeting during the second public comment session after a speaker compared Kidd and three other pro-fluoridation council members to the four horsemen, which the ethics board took to mean “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” according to the board.

The ethics board’s recommendation will be considered by the City Council, which next meets in regular session at 6 p.m. April 19.

The board this morning also denied a motion for reconsideration of its April 1 decision that was filed by Issaquah lawyer Michael Kenyon, who represents Kidd in a similar second ethics complaint. The board also denied a motion for reconsideration filed by Kidd, whose motion mirrored Kenyon’s.

The ethics complaint was filed by Marolee Smith, a former City Council candidate.

The ethics board considered the recommendation behind closed doors during a meeting Friday before voting on it this morning.

Prince said that Kidd, in her third and final term on the City Council, has served the public tirelessly but that the recommendation “is what it is.”

He said it was the least degree of punishment that could be meted out by the ethics board, which could have recommended that the City Council remove her as deputy mayor.

The Feb. 2 meeting “ended in a way that no one wants to repeat ever again,” Prince said.

Kidd, given an opportunity by Prince to respond to the decision, thanked the board for its work.

“It’s a learning experience for all of us,” said Kidd, the first city official ever found to have violated the code.

About a dozen people attended the 45-minute meeting in the City Council chambers today.