Friday, November 18, 2011

Port of Seattle Commissioners Win Reelection

Despite a controversy over improper usage of official credit cards that emerged in the weeks before the election, incumbent Port of Seattle commissioners Bill Bryant and Gael Tarleton have both easily won reelection to the five-member board.

The results of the Nov. 8 election show that Bryant and Tarleton, who were first elected to the commission in the fall of 2007, defeated challengers Dean Willard and Richard Pope, respectively, by wide margins to receive second four-year terms.

This was despite an internal investigation by the port that found that all five commissioners had been found to have improperly spent port funds on travel and personal expenses.

In a 31-page report given to the commission in October, the Seabold Group, an investigative service retained by the port, said that about $3,000 in improper expenses had been charged to port credit cards. All the money was eventually repaid, including $115 by Bryant for meals, and $941 by Tarleton for mostly airfare expenses.
Port of Seattle commissioners, who serve part-time, are paid $6,000 annually, and can be reimbursed for up to $12,000 a year in legitimate expenses.

Both Bryant and Tarleton originally took their seats on the commission in January 2008, during a time when the port was attempting to recover from a financial investigation that led to the firing or discipline of nine managers.