The state Department of Corrections is investigating whether an administrator Belinda Stewart broke ethics laws by devoting state time and employees to her work on behalf of nonprofit groups.
At least five nonprofits led or co-led by Belinda Stewart
reported in records filed with the state that they share their official address with DOC Tumwater headquarters.
An ethics complaint by state Sen.
Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, alleges Stewart, DOC's communications and outreach director, essentially ran those and other groups from her office, using state computers, vehicles and employees who worked for her.
is one of three ethics complaints filed against Stewart
with the Executive Ethics Board that has the power to fine state workers.
led by Stewart
, the Association of Women
in Criminal Justice, probably has "dozens" of members in the Corrections Department, Vail said.
But the family withdrew its permission and created its own scholarship fund under Griswold's name, Stewart
wrote on the website in February.
"There has been a lot of information disseminated about the integrity of the association that is simply not true," wrote Stewart
, who didn't return a phone message at her
office Thursday afternoon.
Vail and Stewart, its president, entered into a "memorandum of understanding" in March, allowing employees with the group to make infrequent use of DOC facilities and computers.
Agreements like the one DOC signed with the group were also signed with the state chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice, for which Stewart is the registered agent, and another nonprofit that's not part of the probe, the Washington Correctional Association.
Carrell sees "a concerted effort by Ms. Stewart
to 'grandfather in' her private business activities to try to make them appropriate within DOC policies, many years after much of the unethical behavior took place," he said in his complaint.
has led at least three prisons, including McNeil Island Corrections Center
Ethics board staff will consider DOC's report to the board, which is likely to decide on whether Stewart violated the law at its September meeting, executive director Melanie de Leon said.