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@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.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

Washington scrambles to boost supply of life-saving protective items for healthcare workers

State officials say they had to be “creative” to obtain protective equipment in global demand.

Gov. Jay Inslee discusses the COVID-19 pandemic and the state’s response during a press conference on Thursday, March 26. Screenshot
Inslee: Stay-at-home orders must continue to completely eliminate COVID-19

Slight decrease in rate of new coronavirus cases, but residents must continue to hunker down.

At St. Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw, a patient is taken from an ambulance through a small door marked “decontamination” on March 23. It was unclear whether the patient was suspected of being infected with COVID-19. (Photo by Ray Miller-Still/Sound Publishing)
King County releases breakdown data of COVID-19 cases, deaths

Washington’s virus-related death toll surpasses 129 as of Wednesday, March 25.

Former Kent pro soccer team owner to face Kirkland rape charge

Dion Earl extradited from Arizona while doing time for sexual assault

Entrance to the Tukwila Library branch of the King County Library System on March 17. KCLS announced March 13 that it would be closed until April at earliest in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Mitchell Atencio/staff photo
KCLS pivots to digital during coronavirus pandemic

KCLS is dedicating more time and content to digital services while unable to open its physical locations.

King County suspends work release program

Effort taken to reduce jail population for safety of everyone during COVID-19 pandemic

Activists want rent, mortgage suspensions

Moratoriums on evictions won’t be enough, say some.

Blood donations drop due to school closures

Bloodworks Northwest requires 1,000 donations a day to maintain a stable blood supply

Most Read