Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant admitted to violating the city’s Ethics and Elections Code, just one of many violations that recently spurred the Washington State Supreme Court to proceed with the recall effort against the city’s first Socialist councilmember.
Sawant has agreed to pay the city two times the amount she originally spent on the Tax Amazon initiative after admitting she used city funds to help fund the initiative, which is in direct violation of the city’s code of ethics.
"This is the very reason we brought the recall effort against Sawant," said Henry Bridger II, the manager and chair for the Recall Sawant Campaign, in a statement Friday evening. "She’s been lying to the public all this time. Blatantly lied to our faces in public and consistently repeated by her followers."
"The citizens of Seattle and District 3 are tired of her radical Marxist actions, her bullying and running our city into the ground. We are demanding that Councilmember Sawant finally do right for the City of Seattle and her constituents in District 3, and pay back the legal fees she’s bilked from the hard working Seattle Taxpayer and resign immediately."
Although Sawant has only admitted to an ethics violation, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled the recall against Kshama Sawant could continue based on the following charges filed in April:
Councilmember Sawant illegally led protesters into Seattle City Hall and endangered City workers when it was shut down to the public during the pandemic.
Councilmember Sawant led a militant march to Mayor Jenny’s house, the location of which the Councilmember knew was protected under confidentiality laws.
Councilmember Sawant delegated city employment decisions to a political organization outside city government.
Councilmember Sawant used city resources to promote a ballot initiative and failed to comply with public disclosure requirements.
In February of last year, charges were brought against Sawant after it was reported that she used her official city council website to promote the ballot initiative aimed at taxing Amazon and other big businesses in Seattle. The Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission (SEEC) found that Sawant created posters in support of the campaign which included the city of Seattle seal and listed her council office. She also posted hyperlinks on her official website which included materials listed that she was on the coordinating committee for the Tax Amazon ballot initiative.
According to the documents released by the SEEC, Sawant spent at least $1,758.87 of city funds promoting her Tax Amazon campaign in the form of posters, advertisements, mass text services, and phone banking.
Kshama Sawant has agreed to pay the city back twice that amount, totaling $3,515.74 within the next 30 days. Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has yet to provide a statement after admitting to violating the code of ethics.