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Peter Holmes must be disciplined and city must be honest

Not to be too much of a downer, but Seattle City Attorney Peter Holmes should be disciplined for purchasing marijuana on Tuesday when, by all appearances, he was on the job and in violation of city HR policy. As our very own Brandi Kruse reported:

In an internal memo sent Wednesday evening, the city’s personnel director reminded all employees that they cannot possess marijuana while conducting city business, on or off city premises.

“Notwithstanding Washington State’s legalization of marijuana, as a recipient of federal funding, the City of Seattle is still subject to the terms of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988,” Susan Coskey wrote in the memo, obtained by KIRO Radio.

“Under federal law, marijuana remains a Schedule I (illegal) drug, and the city must prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance on city premises or while conducting city business on or off of city premises,” Coskey wrote.

She noted that “violation of the City’s Drug-Free Workplace Policy may subject an employee to disciplinary actions.”

We’re told by City Attorney spokesperson Kimberly Mills that Holmes didn’t violate the policy – even though he brought the marijuana back to his office on city property. This seems black and white, so why is the City denying the violation? This seems to be another example of the City trying to blow off legitimate concerns from the media and the public and treat us like we can’t figure out basic facts.

Why is this so important? Because any other city employee who did what Holmes did would likely be subject to discipline. Fairness matters.

With that in mind, I’m calling on the City to admit what Holmes did was a violation and discipline him – or just don’t hold the other city employees to the rules. And if there is some sort of loophole that we’re not seeing, be open about it. And if there’s suddenly an about face, acknowledging that he did violate a rule, I want to know why Kimberly Mills told us he didn’t.

It’s time we demand the City be open about their policies and their enforcement. No one wants to see special treatment – especially Holmes, I’d argue. And these spokespeople — the ones who ultimately work for you and me — need to start being honest. -Jason Rantz

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