King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov

King County Council has nine members who each represent a district. Courtesy of kingcounty.gov

Charter amendments could allow King County Council to remove elected officials

The change was recommended by the charter review commission.

The King County Council could have a way to remove elected officials for inappropriate conduct if they approve an update to the county’s charter.

The recommendation comes as part of the county’s charter review commission process, which recommended several other items as well. Commissioners said the charter should be revised to allow the county council to remove other elected officials – including fellow council members – from office for misfeasance, malfeasance or violations of their oath of office.

Seven of the nine county council members would have to vote to remove an official.

However, Kirkland city council member and charter review commissioner Toby Nixon said these are the same standards currently needed to hold a recall election. The change would allow the county council to essentially impeach elected officials.

“The commission supported the idea that it should be possible, with a supermajority vote, for the county council to remove any county official, including other members of the council,” he said.

Tim Ceis also sat on the commission. He said the conversation on the commission was started after the scandal surrounding Ed Murray, the former mayor of Seattle who resigned after multiple allegations of child sexual abuse, was exposed. Sexual assault allegations against the former King County Sheriff John Urquhart were also discussed.

However, Seattle has a process for removing elected officials in its charter.

“There was no means within the county for removal of an elected official outside of recall, or waiting for the next election cycle to happen,” Ceis said.

The change to the county charter would need to be approved by voters in the county.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

A train route that would shuttle people between Eastern and Western Washington could tie in with the proposed ultra-high-speed rail between B.C. and Portland. Photo courtesy RobertStafford/Pixabay.com
State receives King County to Spokane rail study

It would take about eight and a half hours to reach the Inland Empire from Puget Sound.

Bret Chiafalo. File photo
Supreme Court says state can punish WA faithless electors

Justices: Presidential electors, including Everett man, must keep pledge to back popular vote winner

Gov. Jay Inslee issued new guidance allowing the resumption of self-service buffets, salad bars, salsa bars, drink stations and other types of communal food sources in Phase 2. File photo
Buffets and salad bars back on the menu in King County

Gov. Jay Inslee has revised rules to allow self-serve food areas in Phase 2 of the state’s reopening.

Brian Tilley (left) and Katie Dearman work the wash station Friday at Kate’s Greek American Deli in Everett. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Governor’s no-mask, no-service order begins across Washington

“Just do not ring up the sale,” Gov. Jay Inslee said about customers who do not don the proper masks.

King County homeless count: 11,751 people, up 5 percent from 2019

One night a year, volunteers spread out across Seattle and King County… Continue reading

New weekly unemployment claims filed for the four ZIP codes in the Snoqualmie Valley. Source: Washington State Employment Security Department
A look at COVID-related unemployment in Snoqualmie Valley

Economist says numbers are similar to what they’re seeing across the state.

Nurse Sylvia Keller, pictured with Gov. Jay Inslee, is on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle in Yakima County. Courtesy photo
Governor doubles down on mask rules

Inslee: Starting July 7, businesses do not serve those who do not wear a mask

State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Politicians get pay raises, state workers get furloughs

A citizens panel approved the hikes in 2019. Unable to rescind them, lawmakers look to donate their extra earnings.

Human remains in West Seattle identified

Bags of body parts were found in a suitcase along a West Seattle beach on June 19.

Most Read