Lynnwood may spend $10,000 on camera probe

The City of Lynnwood could spend up to $10,000 for an outside investigation into whether police officers had conflicts of interest in their dealings with the city’s traffic-enforcement camera vendor.

Mayor Don Gough asked that the contract include a clause stopping the cost at $10,000 without further city approval, according to documents obtained by the Herald under state public records laws.

The city hired lawyer Patricia Eakes, with Seattle law firm Yarmuth Wilsdon Calfo, after the Herald wrote that Police Chief Steve Jensen wanted an internal investigation into whether two key officers crossed ethical or legal lines in their dealings with American Traffic Solutions.

The story was published Aug. 18. Eakes was hired Aug. 24.

The story revealed that Deputy Police Chief Karen Manser had emailed an ATS rep asking about job prospects while opening negotiations to renew the city’s contract.

Meanwhile, traffic unit Sgt. Wayne “Kawika” Davis had offered ATS help with marketing their cameras in other cities and states. He also offered to help with lobbying efforts against proposed legislation that could hinder how cities bring in revenue from the cameras in Washington.

Jensen earlier said he had asked Everett police to conduct the investigation. In an email, the police chief told us it was the mayor who decided on hiring an attorney to conduct the investigation.

Lynnwood’s administration sent out a “press release” to city employees shortly afterward. The Herald got the document indirectly. Multiple calls and emails to the mayor were not returned, so we used state records laws to get the contract for ourselves.

You can read it in the attached PDF.

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