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Local Codes of Ethics

This page provides examples of ethics codes adopted by cities, counties, and special purpose districts in Washington State.


While state law prohibits municipal officers from engaging in certain conflicts of interest and unethical behavior, some local governments adopt their own ethics codes that include additional restrictions. These policies cannot conflict with state law, but they can supplement it.

There are several good reasons to adopt an ethics code:

  • It allows the municipality to further explain what is covered by state law;
  • It can cover employees as well as officers; and
  • It can address ethical issues not covered by state law.


Below are examples of ethics codes adopted by cities and counties in Washington. While they are sorted by type of government and population, any of these provisions could easily be adapted by any municipality of any size.

Cities over 50,000 population

Cities between 10,000 and 50,000 population

Cities and towns under 10,000 population

Counties over 125,000 population

Counties under 125,000 population

Special Purpose Districts

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Last Modified: October 30, 2015