Washington State researcher pays fine for ethics violation

Washington state teacher settles discrimination suit

A Washington State University researcher has paid a $450 fine to settle a complaint against him with the Washington State Executive Ethics Board.

The Seattle Times reports a stipulated agreement and order from the board says Kim Patten, director of the university’s Long Beach Extension Unit in Pacific County, “used state resources for private benefit.”

Board Chair John Ladenburg Sr. says Patten used his government computer, an official email account and his position as a government scientist to promote his own private interests.

Patten describes the infraction as a clerical error and says he agreed to the fine to avoid a costly and time-consuming legal battle.

Patten’s work is at the heart of a disputed proposal to treat oyster beds with a shrimp-killing pesticide.