The disappointing evolution of Council Member Malchow

Editorial

April 12, 2022: Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow, who is now the swing vote on the city council, voted on April 5 to block the release of the full investigation of the Rudat ethics investigation to fellow city council members.

Christie Malchow

Make no mistake: Malchow is now the only vote blocking release of the reports to the public and to her fellow council members. Her’s is the only vote between transparency and continuing the cover-up.

It’s a disappointing evolution of Malchow, who was first elected in 2015 and reelected in 2019. For the first three years in office, Malchow made transparency a hallmark of her service. She skillfully used Facebook to inform Sammamish citizens about events and issues. Malchow was tenacious about the issues she cared about. She was incredibly detail-oriented. At one point, Malchow took a ruler to measure the width of a street shoulder to cross-check staff’s data for traffic concurrency. She proved the staff was using incorrect data.

However, in the next three years through today, Malchow’s presence on Facebook diminished considerably. The target of an obvious campaign of attacks by her opponents and by supporters of former City Manager David Rudat, some of Malchow’s fellow council members say she’s been cowed by these attacks. More disturbing, during the past three years, Malchow announced positions or initiatives that she later backed off from or even flip-flopped over. Most notably, Malchow was a leader in initiating an ethics investigation into Rudat and was known to favor firing him. But when it came to a vote last November, only council members Tom Odell and Pam Stuart voted to do so. Council Member Chris Ross had flipped from favoring firing Rudat to suspending him. Malchow followed suit. Fellow council members said Malchow got cold feet because of an aggressive campaign by Rudat supporters. Others believe Malchow counted the votes and abandoned her position to fire Rudat in favor of suspension. Malchow says she read the investigative report—the same one she blocked from giving to the three new council members—and concluded suspension was warranted instead.

Whatever the story, it is true that Malchow is a careful vote counter and rather than sticking to her principles will instead modify her vote to avoid being on the losing end of some key issues.

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Rudat story won’t die until ethics report is released and examined

Editorial

April 11, 2022: Sammamish Mayor Christie Malchow, who is the swing vote on whether to release the ethics investigation report about former City Manager David Rudat, is now firmly in the camp of keeping the report secret.

Malchow, whose first term in office heavily focused on transparency, is the key vote in covering up the details of the ethics probe that cost Sammamish more than $300,000 to Rudat in severance pay, a golden parachute, benefits and legal costs.

Christie Malchow

Why? Malchow says, “What I did not verbalize at the vote was I’m trying to look forward, not backward.  It is critical this Council be forward thinking for the benefit of our residents and the staff that serve them.  We have a new city manager position to fill, staff to provide some stability to, and if we are looking in the rear view mirror constantly, how will we assist ourselves in filling that city manager void and how can we possibly move forward to get city business accomplished for our residents?”

News Flash to the Sammamish City Council and to Mayor Malchow: Until the ethics report is released, this story won’t be relegated to the past.

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Breaking News: Malchow, the swing vote, blocks council from receiving full Rudat probe report

April 5, 2022: Mayor Christie Malchow, the swing vote, blocked a motion by Council Member Karen Howe for the entire council to receive an unredacted copy of the final reports of the ethics investigation of former city manager David Rudat.

Malchow, who was key to initiating the probe, sided with Council Members Kent Treen and Karen Moran, who opposed approving an investigation. Malchow, who voted to suspend Rudat and later a separation agreement, did not explain her vote.

Release full, unredacted Rudat ethics probe reports, Part 2

Editorial

March 29, 2022: The Sammamish City Council is meeting tonight for a special meeting. Council Member Karen Howe may reintroduce her motion for the release—to council members—of the “report” concerning the ethics investigation of City Manager David Rudat. This is the opportune time for the City Council to vote to waive the attorney-client privilege of the Rudat ethics investigation reports—both of them

Rudat and the city council agreed March 1 that he would resign effective March 31. A golden parachute of an estimated $300,000 was provided in exchange for Rudat’s releasing all claims against the city.

At the end of the March 15 council meeting, Howe moved to have an unredacted copy of the “report” provided to each council member. She asked that the copies be numbered. Before the motion could be voted on, Mayor Christie Malchow noted that the meeting ran long and procedurally, a vote was required to extend it. A vote to extend the meeting by 10 minutes failed on a 3-3 vote, with Malchow voting against it. The move effectively buried Howe’s motion.

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Stephanie Rudat files a protective order against Comment editor Mullor; no-shows for court date

  • Rudat complaint alleges cyberstalking, harassment; court denies request for protective order and cites lack of evidence.
  • Seeks to block Mullor from writing about her on Sammamish Comment, other forums and messages.
  • Ironically, Rudat’s petition prompts a peak into what triggered ethics complaint against her father.
  • Stephanie Rudat’s plot against council member Stuart revealed.
  • Clear evidence of Stephanie’s knowledge of city’s legal strategy against STCA-Town Center litigation.

By Scott Hamilton

March 22, 2022: In an unusual twist in the long-running battle between Stephanie Rudat, daughter of embattled Sammamish City Manager David Rudat, and Miki Mullor, editor of Sammamish Comment, Stephanie on Feb. 24 filed for a restraining and protective order against Mullor in King County District Court. The court denied the request for an emergency restraining order. The court also found that “a preponderance of evidence has not been established that there has been harassment.”

Stephanie Rudat

A virtual hearing was scheduled for March 9 at which evidence could be presented. However, Rudat was a no-show. Mullor filed his response on March 18. The next court date is April 4.

In her 10 page petition, Rudat accused Mullor of harassment and stalking. Rudat claims she is a victim of cyberstalking and “repeatedly contacting the victim (Rudat) or monitor the victim for no lawful purpose and his/her actions caused the victim to feel intimated, frightened or threatened.”

Rudat also claimed she suffered substantial emotional distress or “caused me to fear for the well-being of my child.” In the complaint, she offered no example of Mullor contacting or threatening her child, however.

Rudat asked the Court to prohibit Mullor from engaging in “social media posts, comments, messages or blog post on The Comment.”

Mullor, in his response, denied all allegations. He called Rudat’s complaint frivolous. “In connection with her support for her father, the City Manager, Petitioner has thrust herself forward into the public controversies regarding his corrupt activities and the City’s investigations into those corrupt activities, making herself a public figure,” Mullor’s response states. In an exhibit, Mullor includes a screenshot of Rudat’s own profile in which she identifies herself as a public figure.

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