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Seattle councilwoman to pay $500 for violating ethics code

February 6, 2020 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — A city council member was charged a $500 fine for violating city code over a parked recreational vehicle, the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission said.

Seattle City Council member Lisa Herbold acknowledged the wrongdoing after sending text messages to the police chief in October to report what she believed to be a stolen vehicle parked in front of her home in West Seattle, KOMO-TV reported.

The vehicle belonged to a homeless couple, authorities said.

Herbold should have called the Seattle Police Department’s non-emergency line, police said.

“It’s not the crime of the century, but I think it was a momentary lapse in judgment,” Commission Executive Director Wayne Barnett said.

Investigators believe Herbold used the incident as a political stunt following recent complaints about RVs parked near a cemetery in another neighborhood, they said.

Herbold attended a meeting Wednesday where commissioners unanimously agreed to accept the findings, her admission and the $500 penalty, commissioners said. Herbold also offered to answer questions the commission had about her actions.