April 18, 1996

COMPLAINT 1996 - NO. 4


I. Nature of the Complaint

The complainant alleges that C. J. Merritt, the Supreme Court Clerk, has taken judicial actions outside the authority of his position.

II. Jurisdictional Determination

RCW 42.52.320 limits the jurisdiction of the Legislative Ethics Board to alleged violations of the chapter, and related rules, by "members and employees of the legislature." RCW 42.52.370 establishes ethics jurisdiction in the Commission on Judicial Conduct over "state officers and employees of the judicial branch."

The Supreme Court Clerk is a state employee in the judicial branch of government. The complaint fails to state an alleged violation of chapter 42.52 RCW.

III. Conclusion and Order

The board lacks jurisdiction over the respondent, and over the subject matter of the complaint. The complaint is dismissed.