KENNEWICK- Two Port of Kennewick commissioners were under an investigation from a four-page complaint.
The complaint was filed against Commissioner Thomas Moak, port commission president, and Commissioner Don Barnes, port commission vice president.
The findings of the investigation were announced today at a special meeting held by the Port of Kennewick. The Port of Kennewick posted the report and attorney memos on their website on August 13th.
This independent investigation was conducted by Tara Parker, an attorney from Seattle. The investigation says it found three "allegations of misconduct reported in the Complaint substantiated."
1) Commissioner Barnes did violate the Port Rules and Policies when he called Port Consultant DPZ and the State Auditor's Office regarding business matters.
2) Commissioner Barnes did create a hostile work environment for Port CEO in violation of Port policies.
3) Commissioner Moak violated the Port Rule requiring civil and disrespectful treatment of others on one occasion.
At the special meeting today Port of Kennewick Legal Counsel, Lucinda Luke announced the counsel recommendations. The recommendations to Commissioner Barnes are two public censures for Commissioner Barnes as well as "training identified by port counsel."
Commissioner Barnes said he wants a hearing. Luke says that will most likely take place in the next 60 days.
"We had two commissioners who had complaints launched against them and they cannot sit in judgment upon themselves essentially and so we amended our port rules and policies to provide for a neutral process," says Luke.
Commissioner Moak is recommended a public recommend. He accepted his recommendations.