People of Northwest Public Radio
McNeil Improper Contract
Mon November 18, 2013
Why Auditors Say Contract Work by Former McNeil Island Superintendent Was Improper
The state auditor says a former superintendent at Washington’s Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island negotiated a contract that he benefited from after he resigned.
The Special Commitment Center houses level three sex offenders who have been civilly committed after they’ve served their prison sentence.
In the report investigators said prior to resigning from his job as superintendent Henry Richards helped negotiate, facilitate and administer contracts with the University of Washington. Auditors wrote that under the contracts the UW would provide consultation, research and training services to the Special Commitment Center.
Richards resigned in 2009. Five months later auditors said he went on to work as a subcontractor at the university working the same contracts. Auditors said Richards was paid about $21,000 for the work.
Under state law former state employees can’t perform work on contracts they negotiated within a year of leaving the state payroll.
Investigators noted in their report that Richards checked with the state ethics board before doing the work, but didn't disclose the full extent of his role in negotiating the contract.
In its response the Department of Social and Health Services, which oversees the Special Commitment Center, said it would review the case and identify any appropriate changes.
Copyright KUOW 2013.