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April 18, 2007

Pat Davis Pulls a Fast One on Behalf of Pal Mic Dinsmore

Uh-oh. I wonder who Pat Davis' lawyer is, because after this doozy she just may need one.

Port of Seattle Commissioner Pat Davis signed a document to extend the $339,841 salary and benefits of retired port Chief Executive Mic Dinsmore for up to one year past his March retirement.

Davis' approval of the port's payout to Dinsmore has upset other commissioners, who say the then-commission president did not have the authority to act independently and without a public vote.

Davis' action might also lead to litigation -- including between Dinsmore and the port, whose spokesman said the matter must go before the full commission before any disbursement could occur.

Dinsmore was already the highest paid port chief in the nation. Davis claims that she and the other commisioners discussed the matter of the bonus during a meeting, but John Creighton, Lloyd Hara and Alec Fisken say she's fibbing.

More details here on Dinsmore's charmed life as chief Commish.

Addendum: I'm using the word "bonus" rather than the word "severance", because severances are generally offered to those who have been fired or let go. Dinsmore chose to leave his job. Also, "bonus" sounds like "bogus", which is what Davis' gift to Dinsmore really amounts to. And then there's her bogus story that she and the other commishes had all discussed the matter beforehand...

Posted by shoephone on April 18, 2007 at 12:12 AM in Washington Culture | Permalink


Shades of Wolfie and Shaha? Blackmail? Kickback? Tit for tat? The goodness of her heart?

I'll break out the popcorn.

Posted by: op99 | Apr 18, 2007 6:59:13 AM

OP99 - It's not really the same as the Wolfie situation. The "relationship" in this case is not romantic.

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 18, 2007 8:38:12 AM

Even Davis's partner-in-sucking-up-to-Mic is trying to find a way to get away from her in this one. Sez Bob Edwards (as quoted in Bolt's P-I article):

"I want the port's attorney to tell me what is OK to say and what is not OK to say since it's all a matter of potential litigation, which I've been told is highly likely," Edwards said. "My legal antennae went way up on this, and I don't want to do anything that will hurt the port."

Spoken like a man who's hoping to be re-elected to his cushy post on the Port Commission. If his seat wasn't on this year's ballot, though, I bet he'd be right beside Pat.

Note that Alec Fisken, also on the ballot this year, isn't quite so circumspect. Then again, Alec's an actual commissioner rather than a rubber-stamp.

Posted by: N in Seattle | Apr 18, 2007 12:30:16 PM

Shoephone - just speculating - will scratch hanky panky off my list.

Posted by: op99 | Apr 18, 2007 3:52:41 PM

N - I'm just wondering who is going to get Davis' job once she is booted from the commission. Edwards is playing it very S.A.F.E.

OP - combining "scratch" with "hanky panky" just makes it sound even worse! LOL.

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 18, 2007 6:16:17 PM

Errata: Dinsmore was never "chief Commish". Dinsmore was CEO of the executive staff - the hired bureaucracy, if you will, that reports to the five elected Commissioners and carries out its directives.

Over the 15-year Dinsmore Era, and with an apathetic voting public and disinterested media, this reporting relationship became somewhat inverted ... perverted ... whatever.

The balance has been swinging back toward a more conventional relationship lately, and today's story may herald a tipping point.

Posted by: RonK, Seattle | Apr 18, 2007 6:29:56 PM

RonK - of course you are correct. Dinsmore was the Port CEO -- a fact I must have buried in the recesses of my brain as I wrote the post. Either that or I was having senior moment #163.

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 18, 2007 6:58:53 PM

I can't help but point out that this PI article exemplifies exactly why it is so important that we continue to have a two-newspaper town! The Times has not published anything about this Port story all day...

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 18, 2007 7:01:47 PM

Unfortunately, Davis -- aided, no doubt, by CHE, Dinsmore, and the Port's corporate lapdogs -- edged Jack Jolley in 2005. We're stuck with her until (at least) the 2009 electoral season.

Edwards has some competition this year, but I don't think it's all that impressive ... Jack Block Jr. and Gael Tarleton. The more important race is Alec Fisken's, trying to hold off the CHE-backed Bill Bryant.

Posted by: N in Seattle | Apr 18, 2007 8:25:52 PM

I think we may want to keep our eyes peeled for Tarleton. I don't know what she'll be like as a candidate, but she is a very intelligent and impressive person with an interesting resume. And I can't see Davis lasting until 2009. There will be heavy pressure for her to resign after this Dinsmore deal.

Posted by: shoephone | Apr 18, 2007 10:18:52 PM

CHE no longer exists as such, but yeah, the usual suspects.

Tarleton and Block Jr strike me as interesting prospects, though it remains to be seen how well either is prepared to run a county-wide campaign.

And absent an awfully good explanation, Davis would be hard-pressed to remain in office.

Posted by: RonK, Seattle | Apr 18, 2007 11:39:41 PM

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