City Council votes 4-3 to release Rudat ethics investigation reports

After months of debate, the City Council finally voted 4-3 to release the investigation reports of former city manager David Rudat.

May 17, 2022: The Sammamish City Council voted 4-3 tonight to release “all reports, facts and findings,” subject to redactions of names of minors and city staff, of the investigation of former City Manager David Rudat.

Voting in favor were Council Members Pam Stuart, who made the motion, Amy Lam, Karen Howe, and Deputy Mayor Kali Clark. Opposing were Mayor Christie Malchow and Members Karen Moran and Kent Treen.

There are two reports: one is 44-pages, and the other is an 88-page report. The City previously refused all Public Records Requests for these reports, citing attorney-client privilege. The council vote overrides this position. Doing so drew objections from Moran, who said the Council should follow the attorney’s advice to keep the reports confidential.

Stuart said releasing the reports provides transparency for open government, which is good government and shines a light on government. “We cannot put this issue squarely behind us and move forward…until this information is put forward,” Stuart said.

Read more

Taking an oath

Moran said the Council should reject calls from the public to release the reports because doing so could lead to potential litigation. “When you take an oath for the city, you take an oath to protect the city,” she said. It is not in the best interest of the city to release the reports, she added. Stuart said releasing the reports will lift a cloud hanging over the city. Moran rejected this.

“This cloud exists because you talk it up,” she said. “If you don’t talk about it, it doesn’t exist. If you put it out there, then I hope they come after people personally,” Moran said.

Lam supported releasing the reports so people will understand why the city “separated” from the former city manager, David Rudat. The city agreed to pay him $300,000 plus benefits to go away. “Any council member who doesn’t support its release doesn’t support transparency,” Lam said. “They are motivated by their own self-interests under the guise of protecting the city.”

“I don’t know if this is going to put this behind us because [citizens] will interpret this as they will. That part isn’t our job. Our part is to be transparent and live with the consequences. I apologize to the public that we have not released the reports sooner,” said Howe.

Malchow said the city previously released the summary of what is in the work product. “I think the details of it are largely private conversations between two citizens. I don’t think it does anything to release it to the citizens, so I will vote against it.”

Moran responded to Lam, “To say that someone doesn’t value transparency is offensive and very childish, frankly. When you sit in this seat, your job is to make tough decisions. We’ve been advised not to do it. It will set a precedent.”

Stephanie Rudat to submit her own documents

Stephanie Rudat, the daughter of David Rudat, told the Council during Public Comment that the investigation was biased and that she was denied the ability to present her own evidence by one of the investigating attorneys. She said she has information, What’s App texts and data that will show Malchow and other council members shared information that was not included in the report. Rudat vowed to submit detailed information to the City Council on May 18.

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

City staff delays release of full investigation report of their boss

By Miki Mullor
Editor

An investigation report of suspected malfeasance by Sammamish City Manager David Rudat has been kept from the public by his staff for over three months now.

Multiple public records requests (PRRs) submitted by media outlets and citizens have been delayed because of “legal review.” However, invoices from the law firm handling PRR reviews  show a review has not been started in two and a half months.

The Sammamish Comment also learned that City Council members were only given a temporary, staff-supervised limited access to a shortened version of the full report.

Only an 11 page executive summary,  prepared by the city staff’s request so as to not disclose confidential information, has been released to the public. 

And while the investigation of the City Manager is still pending, the outside attorney in charge of his investigation was hired by the City Manager to represent the City on another case–raising concerns for the appearance of a conflict of interest. 

Due to misinformation spread in the community and social media, The Comment is resuming limited coverage of city hall.  

Continue reading