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
- Bainbridge Island Ethics Board - City's ethics website includes the ordinance and resolutions that created the board, advisory opinions, process, annual reports, and other information regarding the board's operation
- Edmonds Municipal Code Ch. 3.70 - Includes provisions limiting future employment of city employees and prohibiting the disclosure of privileged, confidential, or proprietary information
- Lynnwood Municipal Code Ch. 2.94 - Comprehensive ordinance, setting out ethics rules, process, and penalties.
- Monroe Municipal Code Ch. 2.52 - Comprehensive and recently adopted ordinance
- SeaTac Municipal Code Ch. 2.90 (adopted 2016) - Provides an assortment of various penalties and addresses conduct of elected officials after leaving office
- Snoqualmie Municipal Code Ch. 2.80 - Well-written, comprehensive, detailed code
- Woodinville Municipal Code Ch. 2.36 - Makes use of hearings examiner for enforcement, provides for civil penalties, and deals with nepotism
Cities and towns under 10,000 population
Counties over 125,000 population
Counties under 125,000 population
Special Purpose Districts