City council member Josh Binda listens during a city council meeting at Lynnwood City Hall in Lynnwood, Washington on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

City council member Josh Binda listens during a city council meeting at Lynnwood City Hall in Lynnwood, Washington on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Investigator proposes Binda admit to violating city ethics code

Attorney Noel Treat recommended City Council member Josh Binda should acknowledge using public resources for personal gain.

LYNNWOOD — After two months of investigation, an attorney has concluded that Lynnwood City Council Member Josh Binda should admit he violated city ethics standards.

The original complaint alleged Binda, 23, used public resources for personal gain: He entered City Hall after hours to film a video promoting a school speaking tour, where public records show he personally made over $14,000.

Attorney Noel Treat closed the investigation April 17. He has since presented settlement paperwork to Binda and council member Patrick Decker, who officially filed the February complaint on behalf of the council. Now, Binda and the Lynnwood City Council must both agree to the settlement, or the issue will move on to the Lynnwood Board of Ethics for further review.

Treat’s settlement outlines three points, Decker said.

First, it states Binda must publicly agree with the ethics complaints that he did in fact violate city ethics standards. There are two counts of ethics violations he would have to admit to: using the City Council chambers to record a promotional video for the tour he profited from, and using a city-issued email address and city servers to conduct non-city business for which he was paid.

Second, Binda must pledge to not violate city ethics standards going forward.

Finally, if approved, the ethics attorney and the City Council will not request further action or review of the matter by the ethics board.

According to Decker, Treat stipulated that if a decision on the potential settlement is not resolved in “short order,” he will need to take the case to the ethics board.

Binda could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The city’s youngest council member is also facing a recall effort based on this ethics complaint and other recent scandals, including using a shirtless picture on social media to promote the same speaking tour catered toward minors and an unapproved trip to a Washington D.C. conference.

Binda released a brief statement Wednesday evening on Twitter, saying he would not resign.

“Even to those who actively seek to take me down I will continue to represent you and lead with love not hate,” he wrote, concluding with a heart emoji.

Kayla J. Dunn: 425-339-3449;; Twitter: @KaylaJ_Dunn.

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