OLYMPIA – A former habitat biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has been fined for multiple violations of the Ethics in Public Service Act.
On Oct. 12, the Executive Ethics Board settled its case against William Weiler, imposing a $15,000 penalty for multiple ethics violations regarding Weiler’s work with WDFW and a non-profit organization.
Weiler, who resigned on Aug. 6, 2009, was the founder and president of an environmental science organization that offers K-12 programs and works to restore habitats through grants from state agencies and other organizations.
Through an agreed order, Mr. Weiler admitted that he used his position with WDFW to promote environmental mitigation projects advanced by his non-profit organization and negotiated projects with energy companies that benefitted it, too.
Weiler used his state computer to market a series of educational materials offered by his non-profit business and to compose requests for grants to be administered by the organization. He also produced articles featuring the non-profit for environmental magazines while he was on the job at WDFW.
In addition, a forensic analysis of Weiler’s state computer indicated that he visited 711 social/networking sites, 641 news and sports sites, 118 banking sites and sent 8,060 non-work related e-mails over a five month period. The use of state computers and other equipment for personal use is prohibited by state law.
About the Washington State Executive Ethics Board
The Executive Ethics Board is statutorily mandated to enforce the Ethics in Public Service Act and hold employees and officers of the state’s executive branch accountable for their actions. Housed in the Attorney General’s Office, the Board is comprised of five members appointed by the governor. The board and its staff investigate ethic complaints as well as interpret and enforce the ethics law, imposing monetary sanctions for violations. They develop educational materials, provide free ethics training to state agencies and issue formal advisory opinions.
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725